Barcelona’s LaLiga match against Las Palmas will be staged behind closed doors after violence marred Sunday’s Catalan independence referendum.
Clashes involving riot police and protestors have taken place as voters in the region went to the polls in a referendum which Spain’s national government has declared to be unconstitutional and illegal.
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.
Less than an hour and a half before the scheduled 16:15 CET kick-off, reports emerged that the game would not take place following advice from Catalonia’s Mossos d’Esquadra police force.
But a club statement from Barcelona, released 25 minutes before the match was due to begin, said the Spanish Football League (LFP) had rejected a proposal for the fixture to be postponed, meaning the game will go ahead on schedule but without the presence of spectators, many of whom were outside the ground awaiting news of the kick-off.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 1, 2017
“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 club said in a statement.
“Given the exceptional nature of events, the Board of Directors have decided that the FC Barcelona first team game against Las Palmas will be played behind closed doors following the Professional Football League’s refusal to postpone the game.”
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