Barcelona’s Spanish league game against Las Palmas was played without fans at the Camp Nou Stadium amid the disputed referendum on Catalonia’s independence on Sunday.
Barcelona had openly backed the referendum and criticized the Spanish government for trying to impede the vote. Its president said that the decision to play behind closed doors was made by the club as a way to protest the government’s actions in Catalonia.
Barcelona won the match 3-0 with two goals by Lionel Messi and one by Sergio Busquets.
“It was very strange,” Busquets said. “This game was marked by all that happened today (in Catalonia).”
Barcelona wanted the game to be postponed, but it said that the Spanish league refused to accept its request.
“We tried to suspend the game all day long but it wasn’t possible,” Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said. “We could lose points if we didn’t play, so we decided to play behind closed doors as a way to show the entire world that we were not pleased with what happened (in Catalonia).”
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said more than 460 people had been injured Sunday in the northeastern region as Spanish authorities tried to stop the independence vote that the central government said was unconstitutional.