x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Barca are not responsible for trouble, says Laporta

Barcelona hold no responsibility for the crowd trouble that halted the club's Primera Liga match against city rivals Espanyol yesterday, says the club's president.

Crowd trouble breaks out between Espanyol and Barcelona fans in the first Catalan derby of the season.
Crowd trouble breaks out between Espanyol and Barcelona fans in the first Catalan derby of the season.

BARCELONA // Barcelona hold no responsibility for the crowd trouble that halted the club's Primera Liga match against city rivals Espanyol yesterday, said the Barca club president Joan Laporta. Referee Luis Medina Cantalejo halted the match for 10 minutes during the second half after Barcelona supporters in the upper tier of Espanyol's Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium threw flares at rival fans below.

Some Espanyol fans broke a fence and spilt onto the field in an attempt to escape from the flares. "People were yelling at me as if I was responsible for what was happening," said Laporta, who pointed the finger at the stadium's security services. "I only told them that we hold no responsibility and that Barca takes the necessary measures so that the violent (fans) don't enter." Barcelona won the match 2-1. Ferran Corominas put Espanyol ahead after 20 minutes before Thierry Henry (84) and Lionel Messi (90) from the penalty spot sealed the comeback for Barca. Espanyol were reduced to 10 men on 45 minutes when Anderson Nene was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

*AP