surinenglish

Catalonia stress spills over into sport with Barcelona FC playing to an empty stadium

Piqué on Wednesday.
Piqué on Wednesday. / EFE
  • Barça player Gerard Piqué has come under fire for training with Spain's national squad

Events in Catalonia have provoked strong reactions across all aspects of daily life in Spain, including in sport.

On Sunday, while the vote was taking place, Barcelona FC, played its game against Las Palmas behind closed doors at its Camp Nou home ground.

Initially the club, known for its Catalan nationalist views, had tried to cancel the game on security grounds. In the end they opted to keep the crowds out so that “the whole world can see what we are suffering and what the situation is in Catalonia”.

Meanwhile footballer Gerard Piqué, a Catalan by birth, faced verbal abuse at a training session of the Spanish national side outside Madrid, with onlookers questioning why he was there.

An emotional Piqué, who is married to singer Shakira and doesn't support independence, spoke at length about his feelings. “It's not true in my case, but a supporter of independence should be able to play in the Spanish national side,” he said.