La Liga have requested to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) that this month’s El Clasico meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid be moved to Madrid amid growing protests and political tensions in Catalonia.
On Monday, nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed for between nine and 13 years for their role in an illegal referendum and subsequent failed independence bid, sparking protests and clashes across the region.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia. The match is due to take place on Saturday October 26 at the city’s Nou Camp stadium.
But the Spanish football league is seeking to reverse the fixture due to ongoing trouble throughout the autonomous region. The second meeting of the season is due to take place in Madrid in March next year.
“We have requested the competitions committee of the RFEF to meet and change the location of El Clasico to Madrid because of exceptional circumstances beyond our control,” a La Liga spokesman said.
The announcement of the jail terms triggered mass protests across the region, with chaos at Barcelonas El Prat airport leading to the cancellation of dozens of flights as well as clashes between police and protesters.
Local media reported that 51 arrests were made while 125 people had been treated for injuries.