Barcelona and Real Madrid met in El Clasico on Wednesday in a in a scoreless draw. The teams were originally supposed to meet in October but the game was postponed due to violent clashes during protests in Catalonia. Many in the region want independence from Spain. Those clashes continued Wednesday both inside and outside the Camp Nou.
There were pro-Catalan protests inside the stadium, including a “Spain Sit and Talk” banner in the stands. The match was also briefly interrupted in the second half as protesters threw beach balls on the field. Earlier this year, protests picked up and got violent as a result of lengthy prison sentences for nine Catalan leaders who have pushed for the region’s independence from Spain. According to Marca, there were 12 people injured during clashes on Wednesday.
According to Ben Hayward, Spain correspondent for the London Evening Standard, fans inside the stadium were told four times to avoid certain exits where there were clashes between police and protesters. Hayward also reported there was smoke driving inside the stadium with a helicopter above.
Mundo Deportivo is reporting that that at least five arrests have been made.
A 2017 referendum showed that nearly 90 percent of voters supported independence, according to BBC News. Barcelona would likely have to leave La Liga if Catalonia were to gain independence, leaving the team without a league. In that event, Barca could potentially join Ligue 1, which boasts teams from France, and AS Monaco from the Principality of Monaco, which is a sovereign city-state, country and microstate.