Barca match played behind closed doors

The most famous symbol of Catalonia is betraying its ethos

The most famous symbol of Catalonia is betraying its ethos

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the stadium was closed to show opposition to police violence against voters in Catalonia's independence referendum, which was banned by the national government, and not over safety concerns.

Barcelona played the game in an empty stadium in protest of the Spanish government's attempt to halt the Catalonian independence referendum.

"I think I can continue going with the national team because I truly believe there are many people in Spain totally against the events that took place today in Catalonia and that believe in democracy", said Pique.

At 17 minutes and 14 seconds into each match (an allusion to the year Catalonia joined Spain), chants of "independence" will ring out at Barcelona home games.

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"The board tried to postpone the game, we debated it between the players and the club, and chose to play".

Las Palmas said the match had become more than a sporting event, especially because of the recent statements by Barcelona expressing its support for the referendum. During the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the club's position was solidified: "Their motto, 'More than a club, ' points to the team's history as a symbol of pride for Catalans at a time when celebrating their region's history and culture meant risking punishment", Deutsche Welle reported in 2015.

Huge queues of fans waited outside the 99,000 capacity Camp Nou for hours until a final decision was made less than 30 minutes before kick-off. Social media reports captured police battles with civilians, with rubber bullets being fired into crowds According to AFP News Agency, at least 91 people were injured.

Barcelona's routine 3-0 win against Las Palmas was anything but, err... routine.

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Las Palmas, who stoked tensions by wearing a Spanish flag on their jersey for the game, came closest to scoring just before the interval when Argentine Jonathan Calleri struck the post.

"He's not exhausted. He's missed a lot of games and he's very disappointed because he hasn't scored in La Liga yet, but that's football", Zidane added.

Barcelona do not play again until travelling to face Atletico Madrid on October 14, after the worldwide break. And we want to give our support to everyone. The club explained their decision in a statement saying: "Las Palmas had a choice between limiting itself to silence at this historic crossroads or by taking a side".

"It is unacceptable that in a democratic country people can not vote", added Xavi.

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