Barcelona will be excluded from La Liga if Catalonia becomes independent, says Spanish league president Javier Tebas

If the Catalan club were not allowed to compete in Spain, it would mean the end of El Clasico

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The Independent Online

Barcelona will not be able to compete in La Liga if Catalonia gains independence from Spain, according to the president of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, Javier Tebas, and the Spanish sports minister, Miguel Cardenal.

Elections due to be held in the Catalonia are being seen as an unofficial referendum. Parties determined to break away from Spain will unite and force the issue if they win a majority in the region's parliament.

A split would make Barcelona's place within Spanish football uncertain. Tebas, chief of the country's league system, tweeted on Monday: "If Spain splits, so too does La Liga. Let's hope we never reach that absurd situation."

 

 

Last week, Cardenal similarly rejected any possibility of . The sports minister then went further, suggesting that independence and therefore withdrawal from La Liga would weaken the club's standing on the world stage, due to lost television revenues.

'The sporting aspiration of the Catalan clubs would be different," he said. "Barca, for example, would be a team like Ajax, Celtic or Standard Liege and would be doing well to get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. It is not an argument based on scaremongering but on reality."

 

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Barcelona fans could be seen flying saltires in support of Scottish independence last year

Pro-independence Barcelona supporters argue that La Liga too would lose vast amounts of money by excluding a club of their size, while France's Ligue 1 would be more than happy to accommodate one of the biggest name is world football. Any decision to cut Barça would, of course, mean an end to the club's league rivalry with Real Madrid.

Support for the independence movement is strong among Barcelona's hardcore cules fan groups. Pro-Catalan chants are heard in the 17th minute of every home game, commemorating the year 1714, the last time the region had complete autonomy.

Fans of the club were seen displaying their support for pro-Scottish independence campaigners at the time of last year's referendum. A number of saltires could be spotted flying the stands during the Champions League group stage game against Apoel Nicosia.

 

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