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Controversy over confiscated yellow t-shirts at Copa del Rey final

Law association calls it a severe violation of fundamental rights

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22 April 2018 06:23 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The fact that the police and security staff confiscated yellow t-shirts and scarves from FC Barcelona's fans entering the Spanish Cup final Saturday night has not gone by without controversy. Drets, a Catalan association of law professionals, announced that they will study specific cases in which yellow t-shirts have been confiscated at the stadium of Wanda Metropolitana, where FC Barcelona won the 'King's Cup' final 5-0 against Sevilla, to report those who gave the orders. 

The association said in tweet that "no law or peal code prohibit colors. To confiscate yellow t-shirts is a severe violation of fundamental rights." In addition, they stated that confiscating independence flags also violates fundamental rights as a judge ruled in favor of allowing the flag at the Copa del Rey after authorities from the Autonomous Community of Madrid tried to ban the flag from the Cup final in the 2016-edition. 

Law against violence applied

Days before the match, the Spanish home affairs minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, stated that whistling at the Spanish national anthem is violence referring to the law against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport. Previous to the match, Zoido also explained that they were "analyzing the matter and without a doubt there will be modifications to adapt the legislation to the current moment," he said a week before the Cup final.

The Platform for the Defence of Free Expression (PDLI), a Spanish civil society group uniting journalists, lawyers, media houses, social movements and consumer advocates based in Madrid, said on Sunday that anti-violence laws should only be used "to avoid clear risks of violence" and that "the rest is censorship and limitation of political discourse and the right to disagree" referring to the confiscating of yellow t-shirts from Barça fans on Saturday.  

Other reactions

FC Barcelona's chairman was also quick to express that the situation was "incomprehensible" and he added: "they obviously owe us an explanation." The controversy also provoked other reactions; amongst them the deposed Catalan president, who asked "if a simple color is now an offence against the state, what is next?" And he added: "Spanish political police."

On the other hand, the spokesperson from Catalunya en Comú - Podem, party in between pro-independence and unionist blocs in Catalonia, expressed her concern on Twitter saying that "it begins with a tweet, a song. Next, ideas and it ends with a color." Moreover, she added that it was actually "those who do not want to mix politics with sport" and finished saying: It is politics, it is authoritarianism." Member of the Spanish Parliament from the Catalan pro-independence party Esquerra, Gabriel Rufián, summarized the Cup saying "Barça wins titles. Spain loses rights."

On the contrary, Catalonia's main unionist party's sposkeperson in Parliament, defended on Sunday that the police confiscated yellow t-shirts before the match, saying that they were "liable of provoking confrontations."

At this time, no one from the Spanish government has commented on the episode.  

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  • Barcelona fan holds up a “Llibertat” banner before the match (Courtesy of REUTERS/Juan Medina)

  • Barcelona fan holds up a “Llibertat” banner before the match (Courtesy of REUTERS/Juan Medina)