Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Clasico postponed due to political protests in Catalonia
The two clubs now have until 21 October to agree a new date for the fixture to be played
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has taken the unprecedented decision to postpone El Clasico due to heightened political tensions and protests in Catalonia.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid was originally scheduled to take place on 26 October at the Camp Nou. However, La Liga officially asked the RFEF to move the match after nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed on Monday for their role in an illegal referendum and a failed bid for independence which sparked clashes across the region.
El Prat airport in Barcelona was temporarily closed on Tuesday due to an escalation of tensions, with almost 100 people reported to have been arrested since Monday. Nearly 200 officers are also said to have been injured as a result of the violence.
The clubs now have until 21 October to agree a new date for the fixture to be played. A statement released by the RFEF read: ”The RFEF Competition Committee has resolved in relation to the National League Championship game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid set for next October 26, after analysing the allegations of the parties, the next:
“The regulation prevents the alteration of the order of dispute of the parties established in the calendar.
“The Committee lets the affected clubs reach an agreement to find the classic dispute date. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will set the date and time in the next hours, with Monday October 21 at 10:00am as a limit.
“In case of not reaching an agreement, the Competition Committee will be the body responsible for determining the date of the meeting.”
The new date which has been suggested is 7 December, and would require both sides’ Copa del Rey fixtures to be rescheduled.
La Liga are keen for the new date to be on a weekend to prevent a loss of viewing figures, which could significantly hamper relationships with television rights holders.
Prior to the announcement, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde had insisted that he hoped the match was not delayed.
“This game can perfectly take place – it’s a good opportunity to play it with normalcy,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to do so against all those that are pessimistic. [Oct. 26] is the date it was set... This is my opinion, but I don’t know what decision the [competition committee of the Spanish FA] will take.
“There are nine days left to play, and the normal thing would be to play in our stadium. If you told me the game was today or tomorrow, then fine. But we still have time. It’s an important game for people to see. It should be played under normal circumstances.
“We would go into the game having one day less to rest than Real Madrid, so I guess if you look at it that way, it would be us [to suffer]. However, in these type of games that is not that important, as players are always ready to play these games.”