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Spanish government to ban pro-independence flags at Copa del Rey final

The Spanish government’s Delegate in Madrid, Concepción Dancausa, warned that those supporters who attend the Copa del Rey final between Barça and Sevilla carrying pro-independence flags won’t be able to access the stadium. According to Dancausa, 2,500 police agents will work to guarantee the security at Vicente Calderón Stadium in Madrid and will set in place two lines of security controlling access to the arena. Thus, they “will make sure” that nobody is carrying “dangerous items such as or bottles or materials of racist, xenophobic, political or religious propaganda which may lead to public confrontations”, she stated. At the last Champions League final on the 6th June, UEFA fined FC Barcelona for showing pro-independence flags during the match and earlier this year the club was sanctioned with a 30,000 euro fine for the same reason.

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18 May 2016 04:50 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Those supporters who attend the Copa del Rey final between FC Barcelona and Sevilla F.C carrying pro-independence flags won’t be able to access the stadium. This is the warning which the Spanish government’s Delegate in Madrid, Concepción Dancausa, sent this Wednesday. According to Dancausa, 2,500 police agents will be deployed at Vicente Calderón Stadium, in Madrid, to “make sure” that nobody is carrying “dangerous items such as or bottles or materials of racist, xenophobic, political or religious propaganda which may lead to public confrontations”. A double ring of security will be deployedin order to avoid the arena from turning into a “scene of political confrontation”, she added. Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, described the prohibition as “a grave attack on freedom of expression” and assured that he won't attend the final until the right of expression of Barça’s supporters is respected”


President Puigdemont, strongly criticised the prohibition, which he described as “a grave attack on freedom of expression”. “I won’t go to the final, as I had initially planned, until the right of expression of Barça’s supporters is respected”, he stated. Puigdemont also emphasised that the ‘estelada’, Catalonia’s pro-independence flag, is “perfectly legal and democratic”.

This is not the first time that FC Barcelona have had to deal with this kind of controversy. At the Champions League final on the 6th June last, UEFA fined FC Barcelona for showing pro-independence flags during the match and earlier this year the club was sanctioned with a 30,000 Euro fine for the same reason. 

Earlier this year, FC Barcelona’s President Josep Maria Bartomeu defended “freedom of speech and opinion” and emphasised that Barça “is a democratic club”. The vice-president Jordi Mestre, also gave his opinion on UEFA’s decision to fine FC Barcelona for the presence of Catalan independence flags at Camp Nou during the game against Bayer Leverkusen. “We are surprised. We will appeal against the decision, and if necessary, we will take legal advice. We will battle until the end and we do not understand why UEFA would treat us like this for something that does not incite violence”, said Mestre.

FC Barcelona and Sevilla are set to do battle for the Copa del Rey this Sunday, and regardless of who wins in the final, the two will also meet in the summer’s Spanish Super Cup.

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  • Supporters showing pro-independence flags at Camp Nou, in December (by ACN)

  • Supporters showing pro-independence flags at Camp Nou, in December (by ACN)