FC Barcelona have been vocal in their support of Catalonia’s controversial independence referendum, but Sunday’s 3-0 win against Las Palmas was a silent victory.
Twenty-five minutes before kick-off, Barca confirmed the match would go ahead, but behind closed doors, leaving thousands of fans disappointed. Despite the deserted stadium, passions appeared to be running high and a number of yellow cards were handed out.
The home side cited “the exceptional nature of events” and “the Professional Football League’s refusal to postpone the game” as the reasons behind their decision. Supporters had initially called for a peaceful sit-in on the pitch, one minute into the game. Fans had circulated a message via WhatsApp urging a peaceful pitch invasion “in protest at the violence we are suffering.”
Las Palmas had the Spanish flag on their shirts in a show of support for a united Spain. One supporter told euronews he’d spent around 700 euros on the trip.
On the scoreboard, one word: democracy.
FC Barcelona sits in the centre of the Catalan capital and at the top of la Liga, but the referendum has thrown its future into question.