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FC Barcelona vs Las Palmas match to be held behind closed doors


Barcelona, Oct 1: FC Barcelona said their La Liga match against visiting team Las Palmas would go ahead as scheduled on Sunday despite turmoil over a Catalan independence referendum but that it would be held behind closed doors.

The club had called for the match to be postponed, but the Royal Spanish Football Federation had said it had no intention to suspend the top-tier La Liga match, reports Efe.

"Barcelona condemn the events which have taken place in many parts of Catalonia today in order to prevent its citizens exercising their democratic right to free expression," a club statement said.

"Given the exceptional nature of events, the Board of Directors have decided that the FC Barcelona first team game against Las Palmas will be played behind closed doors following the Professional Football League?s refusal to postpone the game," the statement added.

Doubts over whether the match would take place grew Sunday as the northeastern region of Catalonia held a referendum on independence from Spain, which has been ruled as illegal by Spain's Constitutional Court, the highest rung of the judiciary.

Referee Jose Luis Munquera Montero's report, which backed holding the match as scheduled, was an important part of the federation's decision, officials said.

Security forces also said there was no reason to suspend the match.

Earlier on Sunday, Las Palmas said: "We decided to put a small Spain flag on our jerseys (for the match)," adding "we believe in the unity of Spain".

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