Football: Barcelona's Oct 26 Clasico match with Real Madrid postponed over Catalonia protests

A photo taken on May 6, 2018, shows the Spanish league football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in Barcelona.
A photo taken on May 6, 2018, shows the Spanish league football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in Barcelona.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (REUTERS, AFP) - Barcelona's Oct 26 La Liga football match at home to Real Madrid has been postponed, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) said in a statement on Friday (Oct 18).

The Spanish football league's (LFP) organising body made an official request to the RFEF earlier this week calling for the game at the Nou Camp to be rearranged, over security concerns following demonstrations in Catalonia over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders.

The LFP had on Wednesday sought to have the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu played first, after three days of large-scale demonstrations which have turned increasingly violent. But neither club were keen to accept the switch.

So it has now told the clubs that they have until 10am (4pm Singapore time) on Monday (Oct 21) to find a new date, the federation said.

If they fail to do so, the federation will choose a new date.

Two dates reportedly being considered are Wednesday, Dec 18, when other Spanish teams are involved in the Copa del Rey, and Saturday, Dec 7.

On a fifth day of protests on Friday, hundreds of thousands of people waving pro-independence flags and chanting “Freedom for political prisoners” took part in marches across Catalonia, set to reach Barcelona, the regional capital, later in the day.

Barcelona town hall said 400 garbage containers were set ablaze during protests on Wednesday and estimated that the city had suffered damage totalling more than €1 million (S$1.52 million) in two days.