Pique Says He Could Resign From Spain Squad, After Violent Catalan Referendum

Ruben Hill
October 4, 2017

La Liga leaders Barca beat struggling Las Palmas 3-0 behind closed doors after a request to have the game postponed due to local turmoil amid the Catalonia independence referendum was rejected.

Las Palmas had said earlier in the day that they would wear the Spanish flag on their jerseys for the match to support the unity of Spain. "The club has tried to postpone the game, it has not been possible, and the club has chose to make an exceptional gesture to a situation that was being generated throughout Catalonia".

"It has been a very hard game to play, the worst experience of my professional career".

FC Barcelona's history is knitted in to the fabric of the region, its motto underlining the club's significance as a Catalan institution.

A vocally proud Catalan who has played for and managed the club, the 46-year-old re-asserted the view that the vote wasn't necessarily about separatism but about the people expressing their will.

Throughout Sunday's game, the scoreboard of the Camp Nou read "democracia" - democracy.

Across the region around 850 people were injured in clashes with police as the people of Catalonia voted in an independence referendum which had been declared illegal by the Spanish government.

"If anyone in the federation believes I should not be there, I will step aside".

Before the fixture, it was clear that each club would be on opposing sides politically as well as on the field.

Less than an hour and a half before the scheduled 4:15 CET kick-off, reports emerged that the game would not take place following advice from Catalonia's Mossos d'Esquadra police force.

"Now, we know that the match broadcast was seen in 174 countries around the world, with millions of people observing the extraordinary nature of the game and leading worldwide media explaining the reasons for such a unique situation at Camp Nou".

"Maybe the tweet is not the best thing for the [Spain] group, but everyone is free to say what they think". "Together we are unstoppable defending democracy".

Piqué told journalists that he would still make himself available for the Spanish national team as it prepared for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

The club's legendary former player, Xavi, who retired in 2014, condemned the Spanish crackdown on the vote. "What is happening in Barcelona is a disgrace", he said.

"It's inadmissible that in a democratic country the people are not allowed to vote".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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