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Messi strikes twice as Barcelona beat Las Palmas in empty Nou Camp

04 Octobre 2017

"I made a decision to play behind closed doors because we believed that the image of a football match being played in a completely empty Camp Nou.would have been a way of showing how we utterly reject the exceptional and inadmissible situation going on in Catalonia".

"But, with regards to what can happen in the future, the Board of Directors will discuss options".

"I finally came to the decision which was we should play game but to take the exceptional measure of playing it behind closed doors".

Josep Maria Bartomeu insists the decision to play Barcelona's game with Las Palmas behind closed doors was to protest against a "lack of liberty" rather than any concerns over security at the Nou Camp.

In a strongly worded statement on their website before the 15:15 BST kick-off, Barcelona said they had wanted to postpone the match in light of the political situation.

The Spanish league said there was no reason to suspend the game because authorities had guaranteed the safety of everyone involved, including the fans.

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Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola yesterday expressed dismay at the violence that marred Catalonia's independence vote, which he said should have led the club to postpone their match against Las Palmas.

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"Today the UD Las Palmas pays a visit to an unprecedented date for our country, the day that the Catalan government set for a referendum outside the Spanish legal framework, with the force that has the global echo of everything that happens in the Camp Nou", Las Palmas said in a statement. We can not give them any excuse, that is what they want. Spain is an incredible country, with its literature, sport, and cities.

"Now in Spain there teams from other countries who play in national leagues: clubs from Andorra in football and basketball".

"We hoped that the day would pass in a calm manner, but it hasn't been the case". We have values we're defending as clubs. Las Palmas have great players and made it hard for us.

Messi strikes twice as Barcelona beat Las Palmas in empty Nou Camp