Catalan Referendum: Tension as Barcelona, Las Palmas match postponed
Barcelona’s game with Las Palmas later today has been postponed due to the violent clashes going on around Catalunya amid the unofficial independence referendum vote. Videos of police beating citizens in the street emerged on Twitter as those around the region attempted to cast their ballots in a vote that the Spanish government has declared illegal.
Barcelona requested that La Liga call the game off as scenes around the region grew tense, and, after being told the decision is down to the Catalan police, have had their wish granted. The Catalan Footbal Federation (FCF) had already cancelled all games in the fourth tier and regional and amateur games and, as Barca still had not opened their stadium doors just a few hours before kick-off, it became evident that their match was at risk. After weeks of tension which consisted of Spanish police raiding Catalan government offices – drawing criticism from Barcelona and leading to former star Olegeur branding the country a militarised state – the controversy increased even further on Sunday.
Barcelona’s Gerard Pique cast his vote in the referendum and did so with pride, tweeting a picture of him with his ballot and the message: “I have already voted. Together we are unstoppable in defending democracy.” However, Las Palmas took things to another level and promised to ensure that the anti-Catalan independence voice would be present in the game had it gone ahead. Sunday’s visitors from the Canary Islands courted controversy by revealing that their players would take to the field with a Spanish flag embroidered on their jerseys to show their disdain for the vote.
“Today, Las Palmas pay a visit to Camp Nou, on an unprecedented date for our country, on the day that the Catalan government has set a referendum outside the Spanish legal framework,” a statement read. “The public pronouncements in recent days, especially from Barcelona, have turned this Liga match into something more than a sporting event that complies with the fixture list. “Today, what we are doing is very simple.
With the Spanish flag embroidered on our shirts, we want to vote unequivocally in this imaginary consultation, to which no-one has summoned us, that we believe in the unity of Spain.” If the notion that sports and politics do not mix has been questioned in recent months as United States president Donald Trump leads a heated conflict with the National Football League and its players, the Spanish and Catalans have completely refuted it. Vanguard