International

Terrorist attacks mar La Liga's return

2017-08-18 13:52
Barcelona.(Getty Images)

Madrid - Spain's La Liga returns on Friday under the shadow of terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that left 14 killed and more than a hundred injured.

The league's authorities still plan for all 10 La Liga fixtures to take place, including Barcelona's match at home to Real Betis on Sunday.

All games across the top two divisions will be preceded by a minute's silence.

"LaLiga has asked the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) to hold a minute's silence in all matches of the first day of the competition," La Liga said in a statement.

Barca's players held a minute's silence before training on Friday, whilst the club published a picture of the players and coaching staff with the hashtag "TotsSomBarcelona" ("We are all Barcelona") on its social media channels.

"As a mark of respect, the flags will fly at half-mast at the club’s facilities and the players from both teams will wear black armbands in all the club's matches this weekend," Barca added in a statement.

The club also said that players will wear shirts with 'Barcelona' replacing individual names on the back for Sunday's game at the club's 99,354-capacity Camp Nou home.

"The players of the first team will wear 'Barcelona' instead of their own name on the jerseys for the match," said the club in a statement.

"This jersey will also carry the hashtag #TotsSomBarcelona (in Catalan) on the front."

Barcelona's other top flight side Espanyol are away to Sevilla on Saturday.

"With our hearts still shrinking to see Barcelona, our beloved Barcelona, attacked vilely by terror and hate, we want to show our solidarity with all the people affected as well as to thank enormously all the support received by both the city and our club," Espanyol said in a statement.

The league's biggest stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those to lead tributes to the victims as the shocking events of Friday unfolded.

"I want to send my condolences and all my support to the families and friends of the victims of the terrible attack in our beloved Barcelona, ??in addition to totally rejecting any act of violence," Barca forward Messi, wrote on Instagram.

"We are not going to give up, there are many more of us who want to live in a world in peace, without hate and where respect and tolerance are the basis of coexistence."

Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates also showed their solidarity with Barcelona as the two clubs' fierce rivalry was forgotten at a tragic time.

"Dismayed at the news coming from Barcelona. All the support and solidarity (to) the family and friends of the victims," Ronaldo wrote on Twitter.

That mood was reflected on the front pages of Spain's sport newspapers on Friday.

"Today we can't talk about sport," splashed Madrid-based Marca.

Taking a line from Barca's club anthem, Barcelona-based Sport's headline ran "Tots units fem força" (together we are stronger).

The first league matches of the season take place on Friday night when Leganes welcome Alaves in Madrid before Valencia host Las Palmas.

Newly-promoted Girona host Atletico Madrid in the first game in Catalonia since the attacks, just over 50 miles north-east of Barcelona on Saturday.

"The most important thing is what happened yesterday," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said on Friday.

"Unfortunately it was a very hard day for everyone.

"I express my solidarity, sadness and encourage all those that want to live in peace."

Week 1 La Liga fixtures: (all times SA)

Friday, August 18

Leganes v Alaves (20:15), Valencia v Las Palmas (22:15)

Saturday, August 19

Celta Vigo v Real Sociedad (18:15), Girona v Atletico Madrid (20:15), Sevilla v Espanyol (22:15)

Sunday, August 20

Athletic Bilbao v Getafe (18:15), Barcelona v Real Betis (20:15), Deportivo la Coruna v Real Madrid (22:15)

Monday, August 21

Levante v Villarreal (20:15), Malaga v Eibar (22:00)

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  lionel messi  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.