October 17 – Spanish football chiefs are reportedly likely to reject La Liga’s request to switch El Clasico on October 26 from Barcelona to Real Madrid because of the ongoing civil unrest throughout Catalonia.
Days of protests after nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed have made worldwide headlines with riot police forced to tackle pro-Catalonia protesters at Barcelona airport when more than 50 people were injured and more than 100 flights grounded.
Officials were hoping they would be allowed to reverse the two fixtures with the return meeting – scheduled for Madrid in March – played at the Nou Camp instead.
“We have requested the competitions committee of the RFEF to meet and change the location of El Clasico to Madrid because of exceptional circumstances beyond our control,” a La Liga spokesman said.
The Catalan Football Federation suspended all matches in the region on Monday, although that ruling does not affect La Liga matches or the Spanish national team.
Security fears have caused the Spanish government to back La Liga’s request to switch the two high-profile fixtures but reports in Spain say the two clubs have rejected the proposed switch of venues.
Nevertheless, following the sentencing of the nine separatists Barcelona said in a statement: “Prison is not the solution.”
“Now more than ever, the club asks all political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict, which should also allow for the release of convicted civic and political leaders.
“FC Barcelona also expresses all its support and solidarity to the families of those who are deprived of their freedom.”
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