Barcelona could leave La Liga if Catalonia gains independence, admits club president

2 October 2017, 19:27

Barcelona and its members would have to decide which football league to play in if Catalonia gained independence from Spain, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Monday.

The Catalan club played behind closed doors at the Nou Camp on Sunday, beating Las Palmas 3-0 in La Liga, as a protest against Spain using force to prevent voters taking part in a banned referendum to decide the region's fate.

More than 840 people needed medical attention after riot police clashed with some of those attempting to participate in the controversial vote on secession, which the Spanish government had ruled illegal.

"In the case of independence, the club and the members would have to decide in which league we would play," Bartomeu told reporters after a board meeting.

"We are going through difficult and complicated moments and with respect to what could happen in the future we will take it on with calm and wisdom."

Catalan sports minister Gerard Figueras last week said Barcelona may be able to play in another country should the region achieve independence from Spain.

"In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country like Italy, France or the (English) Premier League," he said.

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