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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

FC Barcelona to Premier League if Catalan independence referendum takes place?

FC Barcelona is seen as a major symbol of Catalonia as the region seeks referendum for independence from Spain.

football Updated: Sep 30, 2017 20:03 IST
Himanshu Dhingra
Himanshu Dhingra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FC Barcelona could look at joining the Premier League if Catalan independence is secured.
FC Barcelona could look at joining the Premier League if Catalan independence is secured. ((Twitter/ FC Barcelona ))

FC Barcelona could play in the Premier League if Catalonia wins Sunday’s referendum for independence from Spain, the region’s sports minister has said.

Various European football leagues have teams which are not from that country. Swansea City of the Premier League are from Wales while there are other teams like Wrexham (Wales) and Newport County (South Wales) too are in the English league system. Germany and Italy-based teams have played in Switzerland.

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This is what Gerard Figueras, Catalonia’s sports minister, had to say about the possibility.

“In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga – Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona – will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country: Italy, France or the Premier League,” he said.

(Read | Diego Maradona’s India trip postponed again, to come during FIFA U-17 World Cup)

“Now in Spain there are teams from other countries who play in national leagues: clubs from Andorra in football and basketball. Monaco play in France, in England Welsh clubs. I don’t think UEFA has anything against seeing another club play in a different league from their country.”

Spain has maintained that La Blaugrana will not be allowed to compete in La Liga if Catalonia does gain independence.

The possibility of Catalonia gaining independence right now remains remote though after the Spanish government declared a recent vote illegal and all the ballot boxes were seized.

FC Barcelona are currently atop the standings in La Liga and their Champions League group.

First Published: Sep 30, 2017 18:42 IST