Barcelona game goes on amid referendum violence

Ruben Hill
October 2, 2017

With Barcelona's opponents for the day Las Palmas fanning the flames by adding a Spanish flag to their shirt, the Blaugrana looked to get the match postponed, but police, La Liga and Las Palmas all insisted it went ahead behind closed doors.

Given the chaotic events occurring elsewhere in the city, Barcelona felt it was wrong to be playing a football match.

"From today until Sunday we will express ourselves peacefully".

"We tried to suspend the game all day long but it wasn't possible", Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said.

But any postponement would have been at Barca's request, and the authorities refused. We have not been able to find a way to postpone it.

"Given the exceptional nature of these events, the board of directors has decided that the first-team game against Las Palmas will be played behind closed doors, following the Professional Football League's refusal to postpone the game".

"We all gave our opinions [in the dressing room], there were pros and cons for playing, but in the end, we chose to play".

The Spanish league said late Sunday that the second-division game between Gimnastic and Barcelona's "B" team was suspended because of lack of security at Gimnastic's stadium in Catalonia.

However, they were denied putting off the game and threatened with a six-point penalty by La Liga.

Despite playing a match inside a closed stadium without any watching fans, Barcelona still continues its flawless start at the beginning of the La Liga competition.

After hours of uncertainty, Barcelona had earlier released a statement which read: "FC Barcelona condemns the events which have taken place in many parts of Catalonia today in order to prevent its citizens exercising their democratic right to free expression".

The Spanish government declared the referendum illegal.

Had Barca unilaterally chose to not fulfil the fixture they faced a likely sanction of Las Palmas being awarded victory and a fine from the football authorities.

Ronaldo again played an important role in the move, driving forward and slipping the ball out to Asensio, who cut it back for Isco to ram home low into the far bottom corner. After the match, Barcelona posted the word "Democracia" across their scoreboard.

Las Palmas said the club did not want to limit itself to being a "quiet witness at an historic crossroads".

Consequently it took Barca's players time to warm to their task.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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