Over 460 people hurt in Catalonia vote melee

Posted October 03, 2017

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the club chose to play against Las Palmas behind closed doors to show opposition to police violence against voters in Catalonia, not over safety concerns.

The decision was taken over fears police could not guarantee safety at the fixture, dw.com reported.

Barcelona wanted the game to be postponed, but it said that the Spanish league refused to accept its request.

Barcelona's soccer game against Las Palmas went ahead without fans in attendance at the Camp Nou stadium, amid the disputed referendum on Catalonia's independence.

And the game instead went ahead without the presence of spectators, as La Liga leaders Barca sought to avoid suffering a six-point penalty.

FC Barcelona and Las Palmas were set to play their La Liga game on Sunday afternoon, with Barcelona being the center of the Catalan region.

In the statement released by the club, Barcelona criticized La Liga for refusing to allow the game to be postponed and denounced the actions of the Spanish police, who had clashed with citizens in the lead-up to the vote.

If Barcelona had suspended the game without the consent of the federation, they would have automatically lost the game 3-0 and had a further three points deducted.

Barcelona's routine 3-0 win against Las Palmas was anything but, err... routine.

The emptiness of Camp Nou. "Today's events marked the game".

"There were many matters at stake and we discussed these with the different departments of the club: directors, executives, coaches and players".

This goal thanks to the great service Denis Suarez who thrust the breakthrough bait on Messi who escaped the offside trap.

Security forces were seen using rubber bullets and baton charges as they clashed with protesters, leaving more than 750 people injured, according to Catalan health officials.

"We do it to tell the world that we feel pain for what is happening". And we want to give our support to everyone.

Prior to the kick-off, FC Barcelona pose for a team photo wearing shirts in the colours of Catalan flag.

The 30-year old was clear about his position on the importance of their being a referendum saying that whether people voted yes, no, or abstained it didn't matter. "I am Catalan and I feel Catalan, and today more than ever I feel proud of the Catalan people".