Barca supports independence vote

2014-10-11 09:02
Barcelona logo (File)

Cape TOwn - Barcelona still supports Catalonia's push to vote on secession from the rest of Spain despite warnings that independence would mean the club's exclusion from the Spanish league.

Barecelona "was one of the first institutions to declare it was in favor of the right to decide," it said in a statement on Friday.

Catalonia's regional government wants to hold a nonbinding referendum on independence on November 9. A Spanish court has suspended the vote to rule on its legality.

On Tuesday, the president of the Spanish football league, Javier Tebas, said Barcelona and the other football teams in the northeastern region would be excluded from Spanish competitions if Catalonia became a separate state.

Tebas said the country's sports law entitles only one non-Spanish territory - Andorra - to legally participate in the league or other official competitions. If Catalonia were to gain independence, the law would have to be altered to let Catalan clubs, including Espanyol and second-division teams Girona and Sabadell, back in.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema said he wanted Barcelona in the league, which is historically dominated by the two rival clubs.

"We hope that Barca stays in the league," Benzema said. "We are two great clubs, Madrid and Barcelona. We need Barcelona in the league."

Secessionist sentiment has surged in Catalonia in recent years during Spain's economic stagnation, and Barcelona's Camp Nou has become a focal point of the movement with pro-independence cheers a common feature during matches.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique recently attended a massive rally in Barcelona clamoring for the November 9 vote, and former coach Pep Guardiola is an independence supporter.

Polls show that while most of the 7.5 million residents of Catalonia support the vote, only around half favor ending centuries-old ties with the rest of Spain.

In April, the Spanish parliament voted down a request by Catalonia to hold the referendum, but regional lawmakers went ahead with plans and formally called the referendum last month.

The Spanish government argues that such a vote would violate the Spanish Constitution's stipulation that only the national government can call referendums on sovereignty, and that all Spaniards are entitled to vote in such a ballot.

Legal experts expect the court to strike down the regional Catalan law that provided the legal backing for the referendum.

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership 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

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.