Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 November 2019

Barcelona v Real Madrid at Camp Nou postponed due to Catalonia protests

The clasico at Camp Nou was scheduled to take place on October 26 but will now be moved

Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos will not square off on October 26 after the clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid was postponed. AP Photo
Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos will not square off on October 26 after the clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid was postponed. AP Photo

Barcelona's home clash with fierce rivals Real Madrid has been postponed to a later date due to the ongoing protests taking place around Catalonia, the Spanish football federation said on Friday.

The clasico at Camp Nou was scheduled to take place on October 26 but will now be moved, with both clubs given until 10am local time (12pm UAE) on Monday to agree a new date. If Barca and Real cannot settle on a new date, the federation will do so.

"FC Barcelona and Real Madrid must agree on the new date of the meeting before October 21," an RFEF statement read.

"In case of not reaching an agreement, the Competition Committee will be responsible for determining the date of the meeting."

Two dates reportedly being considered are Wednesday, December 18, when other Spanish teams are involved in the Copa del Rey, and Saturday, December 7.

The Clasico was set to be Barcelona's first home game since nine pro-independence leaders were sentenced to imprisonment on Monday for their role in the illegal referendum over Catalan independence in 2017.

The ruling has sparked violent demonstrations across the city and there were fears protestors would use the match against Madrid to stage further acts of unrest.

Barcelona's football club, which is regarded as a symbol of Catalanism, responded on Monday with a statement insisting "prison sentences are not the solution".

La Liga then proposed to the RFEF that the venue of the Clasico be changed from Camp Nou to Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu but neither club were keen to accept the switch.

"The RFEF agrees to dismiss the request made by La Liga in relation to reversing the order of the matches played between Barcelona and Real Madrid," the statement added.

Instead, it has been decided that a change of date is necessary due to what the RFEF described as "exceptional circumstances".

After the Catalan independence referendum in 2017, Barcelona played a league match against Las Palmas behind closed doors in protest, after their request for a postponement was rejected.

Barca play away at Eibar in La Liga on Saturday and planned to make the 589-kilometre journey by bus to avoid demonstrations at El Prat airport.

Real Madrid also play on Saturday, away at Real Mallorca.

Updated: October 18, 2019 03:36 PM

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