Catalunyan unrest prompts delay in El Clasico soccer match

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Catalunyan unrest prompts delay in El Clasico soccer match

An upcoming El Clasico, the eponymous soccer match between Spanish club soccer giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, has been postponed to December. The postponement comes after Spain sent nine separatist leaders of Catalunya to prison with hefty sentences on 14th October.

The prison sentence has led to widespread protests in the region that also led to the closing of La Sagrada Familia, a church that is a popular tourist site in the autonomous region. The El Clasico match was to be held on 26th October at Camp Nou, Barcelona’s home ground.

Both clubs had disagreed with an earlier proposal to shift the match to Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid’s home venue. The proposal had been put forth by La Liga, Spanish soccer’s top-division under which both teams play.

Barcelona’s rationale for disagreeing with the shifting of the match to Bernabeu was that the team would be travelling to Slavia Prague for an away clash in the UEFA Champions League, on 23rd October. Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde had said, “Under normal circumstances we'd play at home.

They're anticipating certain different circumstances and while we know that this week has been out of the ordinary, we are hopeful of playing the game at our ground. That's what we want to do. We don't envisage El Clasico being played in the Bernabeu and we want to respect the schedule”. The new date for the match after its delay has been set for 18th December at Camp Nou.