Oct 1, 2017 at 3.15pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Las PalmasLas Palmas
Busquets (49'), Messi (70', 77')
Paulinho (34'), Pique (35'), Busquets (45'), Alba (45'), Suarez (51')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Navarro (59')

Josep Maria Bartomeu: 'Empty ground an act of defiance'

Bartomeu: 'Empty ground an act of defiance'
© Getty Images
Josep Maria Bartomeu says that playing behind closed doors on Sunday was a way for Barcelona to 'support those who have been unable to exercise their right to freedom'.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that the decision to play Sunday's match against Las Palmas behind closed doors was done in an act of defiance.

The La Liga leaders had hoped to postpone the match due to acts of violence within the Catalonia region, which left more than 750 injured in clashes between the public and police after a controversial referendum for independence was declared illegal by the national government.

After being threatened with a six-point deduction, though, Barca chiefs felt that it would be best to play the game in front of an empty Camp Nou.

Bartomeu insists that safety was never an issue, but the decision was taken to play in front of the deserted stands to show a united front with voters in Catalonia.

"[Playing without fans] was a measure to show our rejection of what took place today," he told beIN Sports. "This is not a security issue, the police gave us permission to play, but we wanted to show that this game was different because of everything that is happening in Catalonia and the lack of liberty we have been suffering from.

"We are worried and very sorry. We decided that instead of postponing the game, which is what we wanted, we'd play behind closed doors. That way we show our concern for the situation and send our support to those who have been unable to exercise the right to freedom of expression."

Barcelona went on to win the game 3-0 to end the weekend five points clear of second-placed Sevilla.

Barcelona's French defender Jeremy Mathieu celebrates after scoring a goal next to Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos during the 'clasico' Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 22, 2015
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