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Barcelona explain decision to play Las Palmas game behind closed doors

The game goes ahead, but without the fans

Barcelona v Eibar - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona have confirmed today’s clash with Las Palmas at Camp Nou will go ahead, but behind closed doors.

Confusion has reigned all day about the status of the game which was scheduled for the same day as the Catalan independence referendum.

Trouble has flared in the city all day with troubling pictures on social media of clashes between police and voters.

Barcelona belatedly confirmed the game was on in an official statement, as follows:

“FC Barcelona condemns the events which have taken place in many part of Catalonia today in order to prevent its citizens exercising their democratic right to free expression.

“Given the exceptional nature of events, the Board of Directors have decided that the FC Barcelona first team game against Las Palmas will be played behind closed doors following the Professional Football League's refusal to postpone the game.”

Source | FC Barcelona

Without question it’s been a chaotic build-up to the match with conflicting reports on whether the game would go ahead flying about for some time before kick off.

There have been reports that fan groups were calling for supporters to invade the pitch if the game did go ahead, and obviously safety concerns given the current climate in Barcelona right now.

Other reports suggested Barcelona could have been fined and/or faced a points deduction if the game had not gone ahead, although it’s worth stressed none of that has been confirmed.