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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Barcelona's Primera Liga clash with Las Palmas played behind closed doors

Decision comes amid violent in city clashes as police attempt to shut down unofficial Catalan independence referendum

Luis Suarez, left, and Gerard Pique will be playing behind closed doors very shortly. Albert Gea / Reuters
Luis Suarez, left, and Gerard Pique will be playing behind closed doors very shortly. Albert Gea / Reuters

Barcelona's Primera Liga match against Las Palmas is to be played behind closed doors at Camp Nou, the club have announced.

The decision came amid violent local clashes as police attempted to shut down an unofficial Catalan independence referendum.

Barcelona's announcement came barely 20 minutes before the scheduled 6.15pm UAE kick-off time and followed hours of uncertainty over whether the game would go ahead.

According to multiple reports in Spain, Primera Liga authorities and the Spanish football federation (RFEF) wanted the fixture to go ahead as planned.

Barcelona are also reported to have consulted local authorities who gave the match clearance to proceed.

"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," a club statement said.

"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 Liga de Futbol Profesional's refusal to postpone the game."

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Read more

Live updates: Catalonia referendum turns violent

Spanish police storm polling station in Barcelona

Ramos criticises Pique's pro-referendum stand

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