• Thursday, Jul 16, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:04 am

El Clasico postponed over Catalonia protests

  • Published at 05:10 pm October 18th, 2019
El Clasico
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Barcelona's Lionel Messi tussle for the ball

The two clubs have until 10:00am (0800 GMT) Monday to find a new date, which will be decided by the RFEF if they cannot reach an agreement

The Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spain's biggest football match, has been postponed due to protests in Catalonia, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced Friday

The two clubs have until 10:00am (0800 GMT) Monday to find a new date, which will be decided by the RFEF if they cannot reach an agreement.

The original fixture was due to take place at Barca's Camp Nou on October 26. 

Two dates reportedly being considered are Wednesday, December 18, when other Spanish teams are involved in the Copa del Rey, and Saturday, December 7.

The Clasico was set to be Barca's first home game since nine pro-independence leaders were sentenced to imprisonment Monday for their role in the illegal referendum over Catalan independence in 2017. 

The ruling has sparked violent demonstrations across the city and there were fears protestors would use the match against Real to stage further acts of unrest.

Barcelona's football club, which is regarded as a symbol of Catalanism, responded Monday with a statement insisting "prison sentences are not the solution". 

La Liga then proposed to the RFEF that the venue of the Clasico be changed from Camp Nou to Real’s Santiago Bernabeu but neither club were keen to accept the switch. 

Instead, it has been decided that a change of date is necessary due to what the RFEF described as "exceptional circumstances". 

After the Catalan independence referendum in 2017, Barca played a league match against Las Palmas behind closed doors in protest, after their request for a postponement was rejected. 

Barca play away at Eibar in La Liga Saturday and planned to make the 589-kilometre journey by bus to avoid demonstrations at El Prat airport. 

Real also play Saturday, away at Real Mallorca.

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