Barcelona have hit out at the banning of Catalan flags at the Copa del Rey final.
Barca face Sevilla at Madrid’s Vicente Calderon on Sunday as they look to round off a league and cup double.
The Camp Nou club were fined by UEFA after last season’s Copa final over the appearance of Catalan flags – a move vice-president Carles Vilarrubi branded “monstrous”.
Madrid governor Concepcion Dancausa said the final “must not be made a scene of political struggle” as she confirmed Catalan flags would be banned on Sunday, a decision that has been met with anger in Barcelona.
“FC Barcelona expresses, in the most absolute terms, its total and complete disagreement with the announcement prohibiting the display of Estelada flags at the final of the Copa del Rey, to be played this Sunday night,” a statement read.
“The ban was announced on Wednesday by the Spanish government’s representative in the Community of Madrid.
“FC Barcelona considers the decision to be an attack on the freedom of expression, the fundamental right of each and every individual to express their ideas and opinions freely and without censorship, a right which is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“FC Barcelona has always defended, and will continue to defend, the freedom of expression of all its members and fans, who have always displayed a high level of civility and respect.
“FC Barcelona calls for the use of common sense and responsibility and demands the government representative’s cooperation in creating the good atmosphere a match such as the Copa del Rey final deserves. FC Barcelona also implores the representative to respect the honour of the institutions involved in this final and to avoid causing any uncomfortable situations.”
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