Barcelona could be chucked out of La Liga should Catalonia achieve independence from Spain, the president of the Spanish Football League (LFP) warned today.
Javier Tebas insisted that current rules would prevent the 22-time Spanish champions, as well as their Catalonian rivals Espanyol, from entering the league if part of an independent Catalonia.
Tebas said: “Espanyol and Barça could not play in the Spanish League. Would have to change the Law of Sports.”
An independence referendum has been called for 9 November by Catalonia president Artur Mas, however the central Spanish government has vowed to block the vote. A national constitutional is currently deciding if the vote is legal.
Last month 1.8m people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest for their right to vote on 9 November.
Barcelona’s fans, and even the club itself, have expressed support for the cause. Pro-independence banners and flags are often present in the stands of Camp Nou, while the fans sing the “indepencia” chant after 17 minutes and 14 seconds of every half. The time is chosen to represent the year 1714, when Catalonia’s independence was abolished.
Following the protests in September, the club’s directors unanimously voted in favour of the team wearing their “senyera” strip (designed with the colours of the Catalan flag) in a league match against Athletic Bilbao.
However, if fans were to get their wish, it could have severe repercussions toward their beloved club. If separated from Spain, Catalonia would have to apply for membership to Fifa and Uefa, and thus form their own separate football league.