Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 November 2019

La Liga requests clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid be relocated amid protests

Nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed on Monday for their roles in an illegal referendum and failed independence bid, sparking clashes across the region

Protesters take part in a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders in Barcelona. EPA
Protesters take part in a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders in Barcelona. EPA

La Liga made a request on Wednesday to have next week's clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid moved from the Camp Nou to Madrid due to security concerns over growing protests in Catalonia.

Nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed for between nine and 13 years on Monday for their roles in an illegal referendum and subsequent failed independence bid, sparking protests and clashes across the region. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia.

The match between Spanish football's two biggest clubs is due to take place on October 26 at Barca's Camp Nou stadium, but La Liga has asked the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to reverse the fixture.

The second meeting of the season is due to take place in Madrid in March.

"We have requested the competitions committee of the RFEF to meet and change the location of El Clasico to Madrid because of exceptional circumstances beyond our control," a La Liga spokesman said.

The announcement of the jail terms triggered mass protests across the region, with chaos at Barcelona's El Prat airport leading to the cancellation of dozens of flights as well as clashes between police and protesters.

More than 40,000 people took to the streets with 125 wounded, with the authorities saying none of the injuries suffered were serious.

Local police confirmed 30 arrests were made across Catalonia, with 43 officers wounded during the demonstrations.

On Monday, Barca released a statement titled "Prison is not the solution" condemning the sentences, while Manchester City's Spanish coach, Pep Guardiola, also spoke out against the jail terms in a video that was released on social media by the group Tsunami Democratic.

Protests continued throughout Wednesday, with the country's high-speed rail network suffering delays, while motorways throughout Catalonia and many of Barcelona's main thoroughfares remain closed.

Updated: October 17, 2019 09:26 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Editor's Picks