Barca match to be played behind closed doors amid Catalonia clashes

Rosalie Stanley
October 3, 2017

Lionel Messi scored two second-half goals as Barcelona defeated Las Palmas 3-0 for its seventh straight Spanish league victory in a game played behind closed doors amid the disputed referendum over Catalonia's independence on Sunday.

The club's final decision ended the debate of players and fans' safety due to the lack of police presence at the stadium.

Barcelona's league game against Las Palmas was played behind closed doors at the 11 hour at the weekend as the Catalan referendum dispute spilled over into football.

"Having reached that point, I chose to play behind closed doors because we believed that the image of a football match being played in a completely empty Camp Nou would have been an act of responsibility and would have been a way of showing how we utterly reject the exceptional and inadmissible situation going on around Catalonia".

"We're very sorry, and we've decided, instead of cancelling the game, like we wanted, to play it behind closed doors".

The Barcelona board met as footage of law enforcement officers using batons and rubber bullets on the crowds emerged, while voters were forcibly removed from some polling stations.

Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia report that the club, recognised around the world as a symbol of Catalonia, tried throughout Sunday to have the game postponed and rescheduled for another day but was met with opposition from La Liga officials.

With such flawless result, Barcelona increasingly cemented his position at the top of the standings by winning a maximum of 21 points or a clean 5 points from second place Sevilla.

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He added: "We had such a hard day (on Friday) and it was hard to know where we stood". However, I do still feel like my state of mind is exactly the same as it was before.

"There were many matters at stake and we discussed these with the different departments of the club: directors, executives, coaches and players".

During the match, which Barcelona won 3-0 thanks to two goals from Lionel Messi, the scoreboard at the Camp Nou displayed a picture of a ballot box with the word "democracy" on it.

It was reported that Las Palmas had planned to wear the Spanish flag on their uniforms, as well as the date of the Catalan referendum.

"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. "We all want the same thing, for there to be respect between everyone".

Sturgeon says that "regardless of views on independence, we should all condemn the scenes being witnessed".

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

Hundreds of people have been injured during clashes between civilians and police. "I am Catalan and I feel Catalan, and today more than ever I feel proud of the Catalan people".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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