FC Barcelona threaten to leave La Liga amid Spanish independence controversy

LIONEL MESSI and his Barcelona football  team mates could become future Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A or Ligue 1 contenders as the Catalan club discuss ditching La Liga after the independence referendum.

FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has stated that the 24-time La Liga champions will consider playing in a different league and country if Cataluña gains independence.

He said: “This situation does not exist so far but with regards to things that can happen in the future, it is something that the board of directors would discuss.

“If we discuss the subject intensely then obviously we will find the best solution. But if this independence happens, the board of directors will decide.

The referendum result claimed 90 per cent of voters chose to become separate from Spain in an illegal referendum last Sunday.

Barcelona’s La Liga match against Las Palmas went ahead after the Catalan giants were threatened with a six-point deduction if the match was postponed, a sanction they wanted to avoid after missing out on the La Liga title to Real Madrid last season by just three points.

The game was played behind closed doors and the club won 3-0 in an empty Camp Nou where the scoreboard displayed ‘democracy´ instead of the team names and the score.

The Barcelona football club president has also stated that the Catalan giants are planning a strike as a result of the violence by Spanish police against independence supporters on the day of the illegal referendum and will refuse to train today.

Speaking about the decision to play behind closed doors on Sunday, he said: “Here at FC Barcelona we decided that we had to take some kind of measure to show our indignation to the world.

“We very seriously considered the option of postponing the game but we could not get the Professional Football League to approve our request.

“This was one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make as Barca president.

“What we witnessed in our country yesterday was inadmissible.

“We demand respect for the people of Cataluña and we shall once again stand alongside its legitimate representatives.

“We Catalans have won the right to be heard.”

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