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Images of empty Camp Nou highlighted Catalonia rift — Barcelona president

05 Octubre 2017
Images of empty Camp Nou highlighted Catalonia rift — Barcelona president

Bartomeu reiterated that there was no security threat, which was the official reason in the referee's report for the game being played behind closed doors, and said that "this doesn't end here".

Their decision has caused some fans of Las Palmas to label their own club as fascist on social media, with prominent Twitter account Info UD Las Palmas calling the club a "disgrace" for their decision to embroid the Spanish flag onto their kit.

There was also division among the board over whether the game should have been played, with sources telling ESPN FC that vice president Carles Vilarrubi has tended his resignation over the issue.

Barcelona vs. Las Palmas was played in an empty Camp Nou.

The reaction of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government to the escalating crisis has drawn widespread criticism both in Spain and across the world. That is why I must say that this was one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make as Barca president.

"It was a consensual decision by the club".

Barca had seen their request to have the game postponed rejected and ultimately played behind closed doors, romping to a 3-0 win amid the backdrop of violence which had struck the city when voters were assaulted by police. "Today was my worst experience as a professional", he said.

However, he said he will step aside before then if his presence in the Spain camp is deemed a problem by coach Julien Lopetegui or the federation.

Las Palmas added a Spanish flag to the shirts that the players wore against Barcelona to show its support for a unified Spain. But Bartomeu said the images of the game would highlight the "inadmissible situation going on around Catalonia".

The bizarre circumstances of the Barcelona game appeared to affect the home side in the first half as they lacked energy and imagination, mustering only two shots on goal - an early strike from Sergi Roberto and a wayward header from Paulinho.

In the late game, Real Madrid earned their first home league victory of the season by beating Espanyol 2-0 with a goal in each half by midfielder Isco, while Valencia moved up to third in the standings after beating visitors Athletic Bilbao 3-2.

Tennis world number one Rafael Nadal said his "heart sank" at seeing the images from Catalonia as he prepared for the China Open in Beijing. "We want the world to see what we are living in Catalonia".

The French coach also praised Ronaldo for his performance and said the Portuguese, who missed four league games through suspension, is desperate to get off the mark in La Liga.

He said: "We weren't very focused".