La Liga football season return marred by Barcelona terror attack
The La Liga football season, which will begin on Friday, has been marred by the Barcelona terror attack which killed 14 people and left more than a 100 injured.football Updated: Aug 18, 2017 16:48 IST
Spain’s La Liga returns on Friday under the shadow of terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that left 14 killed and more than a hundred injured.
The league’s authorities still plan for all 10 La Liga fixtures to take place, including Barcelona’s match at home to Real Betis on Sunday.
All games across the top two divisions will be preceded by a minute’s silence.
La Liga said in a statement, “LaLiga has asked the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) to hold a minute’s silence in all matches of the first day of the competition in LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 1l2l3.”
Barca’s players held a minute’s silence before training on Friday, whilst the club published a picture of the players and coaching staff with the hashtag “TotsSomBarcelona” (”We are all Barcelona”) on its social media channels.
In a statement on Twitter, FC Barcelona stated
FC Barcelona join the minute's silence. The President Bartomeu and Directors Vilanova and Teixidor represented the Club at Pl.Catalunya. pic.twitter.com/hYePU3Yz9b— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 18, 2017
Barcelona’s other top flight side Espanyol are away to Sevilla on Saturday.
Espanyol said in a statement released on their Twitter handle.
You saw us born. And make us centenaries. Always together, always yours. With all the pride of the world. We love you, Barcelona! pic.twitter.com/yYPFPRBQ8G— RCD Espanyol (@RCDEspanyol) August 18, 2017
The league’s biggest stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those to lead tributes to the victims as the shocking events of Friday unfolded.
Messi, wrote on Instagram, “I want to send my condolences and all my support to the families and friends of the victims of the terrible attack in our beloved Barcelona, in addition to totally rejecting any act of violence. We are not going to give up, there are many more of us who want to live in a world in peace, without hate and where respect and tolerance are the basis of coexistence.”
Quiero mandar mis condolencias y todo mi apoyo a las familias y amigos de las víctimas del terrible atentado en nuestra amada Barcelona, además de rechazar totalmente cualquier acto de violencia. No nos vamos a rendir, somos muchos más los que queremos vivir en un mundo en paz, sin odio y donde el respeto y la tolerancia sean las bases de la convivencia.
Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates also showed their solidarity with Barcelona as the two clubs’ fierce rivalry was forgotten at a tragic time.
Ronaldo wrote on his handle.
That mood was reflected on the front pages of Spain’s sport newspapers on Friday.
“Today we can’t talk about sport,” splashed Madrid-based Marca.
Taking a line from Barca’s club anthem, Barcelona-based Sport’s headline ran “Tots units fem força” (together we are stronger). The first league matches of the season take place on Friday night when Leganes welcome Alaves in Madrid before Valencia host Las Palmas.
Newly-promoted Girona host Atletico Madrid in the first game in Catalonia since the attacks, just over 50 miles north-east of Barcelona on Saturday.
“The most important thing is what happened yesterday,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said on Friday. “Unfortunately it was a very hard day for everyone. I express my solidarity, sadness and encourage all those that want to live in peace.”
First Published: Aug 18, 2017 16:47 IST