The so much talked about game played in Barcelona Camp Nou Stadium kicked off without any setback whatsoever, but was paused only briefly when some extremist threw a ball into the field. The ball carried a message for the Spanish government to open dialogue with Catalonia’s separatists.
In efforts to curb the brewing riot, thousands of private security guards and police flocked around the stadium in a bid to stop the separatists from disrupting the game, which was viewed by almost 650 million people worldwide.
Violence eventually broke out, as police began to use baton to put the crowd to other.
At least 12 people were injured and two people arrested.
The disruption of the match, was seen as a platform used by the separatists to promote their demands for Catalan independence. The game however ended in a goalless draw.
The fierce rivalry between Spain’s two largest cities is often linked with the two opposing political stance. While Barcelona is believed to be identified with Catalan nationalism, Real Madrid for the Spanish State.
Fans held up blue signs saying “Spain, Sit and Talk” and “Freedom”, while others chanted “Freedom for Political Prisoners” in Catalan.
The messages and chants at the stadium was in respect to the Spanish government’s refusal to discuss the wealthy north-eastern region’s independence, as well as the recent imprisonment of nine of the separatist movement’s leaders, convicted for their roles in a failed 2017 secession bid.
It was a very difficult task for the guards and police to put the rebelling crowd to others. It was hard for them to differentiate protesters from the fans.
The Barcelona team later asked its fans to behave in civility.
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