Barca closed stadium to show support for Catalan voters - Bartomeu

Barca closed stadium to show support for Catalan voters - Bartomeu

FC Barcelona played its 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in an empty Camp Nou on Sunday after a series of heated political events.

Spanish riot police on Sunday burst into polling stations across Catalonia to try to halt the referendum on a split from Spain and Catalan officials said more than 800 people were injured in the crackdown.

Ahead of the contest there was serious speculation surrounding whether the fixture would actually go ahead at all, with the Barca hierarchy urging La Liga chiefs to postpone the tie after the day's goings-on.

Las Palmas, who stoked tensions by wearing a Spanish flag on their jersey for the game, came closest to scoring just before the interval when Argentine Jonathan Calleri struck the post.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the club would have to discuss the possibility of leaving La Liga if Catalonia gained independence from Spain.

The freaky circumstances of the Barcelona game appeared to affect the home side in the first half as they lacked energy and imagination, mustering only two shots on goal - an early strike from Sergi Roberto and a wayward header from Paulinho.

LaLiga chiefs rejected a request from Barcelona to postpone the match in light of violent scenes that marred Catalonia's independence referendum, which was declared to be unconstitutional by the country's national government.

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"We were aware of what happened here today, we don't live in an igloo", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

And now he has revealed the Barcelona board will be discussing where the club play their football in the future, potentially leading to the club moving to one of Europe's other leading leagues.

Barcelona had openly backed the referendum and criticised the Spanish government for trying to impede the vote. Voters were being asked whether they wish Catalonia to become an independent republic and there were reports of ballot papers and boxes being confiscated by the Guardia Civil, with batons and rubber bullets used on protesters.

In the capital, hated rivals Real Madrid appeared a symbolic polar opposite to Barcelona as its fans displayed Spanish flag colours before the team's match against Espanyol, another Catalan club.

"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", the club said in a statement. Las Palmas had made their position clear in an emotive statement released in the morning. Las Palmas have great players and our mistakes were costing us. "We'll take the second".

"This situation does not exist so far", he said on Monday.

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