Following days of protests in Barcelona, La Liga is pushing for the upcoming El Classico to be switched from Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium to Real Madrid’s Bernabeu over fears of civil unrest, ABC News can report.
There have been days of protest in Barcelona after nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed on Monday.
La Liga made the request to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). However, the Spanish FA will seek the views of both clubs before taking a final decision.
Media reports suggest that Barcelona will refuse the request as the club feel the switch is unnecessary.
Meanwhile, protests are expected in the city on the day of the match and the RFEF says the move comes in “exceptional circumstances beyond our control”.
Barcelona and Real Madrid were not involved in La Liga’s initial request and there has been no official response from either clubs.
If the request is granted, then it means the return fixture scheduled for March will now take place in Barcelona.
The Catalan Football Federation suspended all matches in the region Monday, although that ruling does not affect La Liga matches or the Spanish national team.
Catalonia is a semi-autonomous region in the north-east of Spain.
The nine separatists were convicted of sedition over their role in the referendum and handed jail sentences of between 9 and 13 years by Spain’s Supreme Court.
Following the sentencing, Barcelona said: “Prison is not the solution.”
The Spanish champions added: “Now more than ever, the club asks all political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict, which should also allow for the release of convicted civic and political leaders.”
“FC Barcelona also expresses all its support and solidarity to the families of those who are deprived of their freedom.”
FC Barcelona announcement
"Prison is not the solution" pic.twitter.com/o0BWOaThgD
— FC Barcelona (from 🏠) (@FCBarcelona) October 14, 2019