As per reports, the Catalan regions of Spain, constituting around 7.5 million population, are pressing ahead with a referendum which is set to take place on Sunday, despite the government ruling it illegal. It was reported that the police have seized ballot boxes, and Spain’s prime minister, Mariano, has insisted the referendum “won’t happen”.
However, if the referendum were to succeed, Spanish club Barcelona could possible exit the La Liga, according to Catalonia’s minister of sport, Gerard Figueras.
Figueras was quoted as saying: “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: Italy, France or the Premier League.
“Now in Spain, there teams from other countries who play in national leagues: clubs from Andorra in football and basketball. Monaco play in France, in England Welsh clubs. I don’t think that UEFA has anything against seeing another club play in a different league from their country.”
And even though Catalonia’s sports minister believes Barcelona ‘will have to decide’, La Liga president, Javier Tebas, has assured that Barca would be barred from competing in La Liga if the illegal vote goes through.
Javier Tebas stated: “In sport, it isn’t a la carte and things must be clearly stated. It isn’t easy to have an agreement and study Spanish legislation but if they (Catalan clubs) do get that, then they will not be able to play in Spain’s La Liga, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola had also backed the independence at a rally back in June, by stating: “We have no other option but to vote. We call on the international community to support us and on democrats the world over to help us to defend the rights that are threatened in Catalunya, such as the right of freedom of expression and the right to vote.”
Barcelona have also issued a statement, which reads: “FC Barcelona, in holding the utmost respect for its diverse body of members, will continue to support the will of the majority of Catalan people, and will do so in a civil, peaceful, and exemplary way.”
Written by Sidharth Jindal
Sports fanatic with a passion for writing (predominantly football) and “Wants to live life to its fullest.” Writes about the Premier League on his personal blog.