La Liga ask Real Madrid and Barcelona to make changes to 26 October El Clasico


BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona shoots towards goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on May 6, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The build-up to the biggest game in the Spanish football calendar has been marred with heightened political tensions in the Catalonian region of the country.

According to Spanish publication AS, La Liga have asked both Real Madrid and Barcelona to change the venue of 26 October El Clasico from the Camp Nou to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spanish football governing authority fears that the Catalan protests, which sprung up in the region at the start of this month, have the potential to disturb the game at the Camp Nou.

With El Clasico arriving in less than a fortnight, the protestors have planned a huge demonstration in the city to capture the attention of the world audience.

That has left La Liga with no option but to ask both the parties taking part in El Clasico to agree to a venue switch to avoid security being compromised for the fixture.

Why La Liga are asking for El Clasico venue change?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: A view of the LaLiga logo at a roofop viewing party of El Clasico - Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona hosted by LaLiga at 230 Fifth Avenue on April 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for LaLiga)
At the start of this week, a Spanish court found 12 Catalan separatist leaders guilty on charges of sedition and misuse of public funds.

The decision which was handed down after a four-month trial also saw the court sentencing all those found guilty from nine to 13 years in prison.

Hours after the announcement of the decision, protests erupted in various parts of the country, with Spain’s airport operator being forced to cancel 108 flights.

Never the one to back out from declaring its support for Catalonian autonomy, FC Barcelona put out a statement on their Twitter account claiming that ‘prison isn’t the solution.’

Staunch Catalan and Barca defender Gerard Pique shared the club’s posts within moments on his Twitter account with a caption that he was “Proud to be a part of this club.”

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What will happen next?

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 27: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid reacts as Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona celebrates his team's first goal during the Copa del Rey Semi Final second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Bernabeu on February 27, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

As extraordinary as the events surrounding La Liga’s request to the Competition Committee to reverse the order of the El Clasico are, they aren’t unprecedented.

La Liga fans might recall that on October 1, 2017, the day on which the Catalan authorities held a now-botched referendum, there was a game involving Barcelona and Las Palmas.

The build-up to that game saw Barca requesting Spanish football authorities to suspend the game due to the fear of troubling situation in the city.

After their request was shot down, the Catalan club suggested that the match should be played behind closed doors to prevent the likelihood of crowd trouble. La Liga accepted the suggestion, and the match went on as planned.

The situation is a little different this time as it isn’t Barcelona but La Liga which are requesting a change in the venue, though nobody can tell for sure what is going to happen in the next ten days.

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