For a few centuries, the people of Catalunya want to be independent of the country of Spain, because of the numerous years of hatred by the Kingdom to the territory. More than just a political issue, this battle for freedom could affect FC Barcelona, in unbelievable ways.
Obviously, Barça are the biggest international representatives of Catalunya, not only in sports, but in general. If you think about the Catalan people, you think about the football team. However, if the Catalan people decide to be a different country, the football team they love could suffer tough consequences.
Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish Football League, said earlier this week that Barça (and all the other teams playing in the different divisions of the Spanish League) cannot be part of La Liga if Catalunya becomes an independent country.
Here's what he had to say in an interview to a Spanish radio:
"Barcelona and Espanyol could not play in La Liga if Catalunya becomes independent. And the reasons are: our country's law for sports only allows one non-Spanish country to play in Spain, and that is Andorra. The only way Catalan teams could play is if the Parliament itself decides to change the laws, and we can't control politics. It would be in their hands.
I can't imagine Spain without Catalunya, or La Liga without Barcelona and Messi, but it's their choice. We can't do much."
Source: ESPN Brazil
Catalunya's representatives have one week to decide whether or not to allow voting in the independence issue. In light of the controversy, Barça officials have made an official consultation with the French League to see if they would be allowed to play in the Ligue 1. They also consulted the Italian Federation and the English Football Association, but both countries declined on the proposal. The French are the only one welcoming the change, but they've made clear they would only accept Barça's bid.
IF the Catalan territory becomes a country of its own and Barça aren't able to stay in La Liga nor play in other European league, the club would suffer a gigantic hit, financially and in terms of the squad. Players like Neymar and Messi wouldn't be allowed to play in the Catalunya league, that doesn't accept foreign players. Sponsorship deals would not be as profitable as they are today. Even worse: Barcelona vs Real Madrid would see its end.
It's a difficult situation. But hey, that's what happens when politics meet sports.
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