Barcelona president: Images of empty Camp Nou highlighted Catalonia rift

Barcelona vs Las Palmas live football streaming: Watch La Liga live on TV, Online

Barcelona vs Las Palmas live football streaming: Watch La Liga live on TV, Online

In an utterly shocking and disgraceful turn of events, FC Barcelona were forced to play the La Liga game against Las Palmas while Catalan voters went to the polling stations to vote on independence referendum.

However, the majority of Barcelona players wanted to play the fixture and with Las Palmas players already out on the pitch before kick-off the confusion continued.

The Nou Camp has witnessed displays of pro-secession fervour in recent years, including chants of "independence" which take place after 17 minutes and 14 seconds in a match to mark the 1714 siege of Barcelona.

"The public statements in recent days, especially those of our hosts FC Barcelona, have converted this La Liga match into something more than a mere sporting spectacle".

Barcelona went on to win against Las Palmas by three goals to nil but football was the not on anyone's mind.

"The board tried to postpone the game through every means possible and came down to the dressing room to take a decision with us", Pique said.

The victory gave Barcelona a five-point lead over Sevilla, which defeated visiting Malaga 2-0 on Saturday.

Wayne Bridge makes honest admission about Alvaro Morata at Chelsea
But personally I prefer the 5-3-2 and I think just Morata and Hazard are ideal strike partners up front. However, Chelsea will surely miss Morata more than City will Sergio Aguero and United will Pogba.

"If we hadn't played we'd have lost six points, three for the result and three as a punishment", Bartomeu added.

Barca won the match 3-0 with Lionel Messi scoring twice in front of 98,000 empty seats in what defender Gerard Pique said was his "worst experience as a professional".

Las Palmas defended resiliently in an eery Nou Camp bowl for the first 45 minutes.

But the club chose to turn down the option of opening the gates as normal to a bumper crowd, instead taking a stand against the football authorities for refusing to accept the postponement request and threatening the club with a points deduction. Officials said more than 890 civilians and some 430 members of the police force were injured.

Many Barcelona fans regarded Real Madrid as an establishment club, and over the years the rivalry has been further fuelled by spats over players and transfers, including a heated dispute over the registration of superstar Alfredo Di Stefano, and Portuguese forward Luis Figo's move from Barca to Real.

"We were aware of what happened here today, we don't live in an igloo", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. The duo can scare any defence in world football, and Las Palmas will need to be strong at the back to contain Messi and Suarez. "We all want the same thing, for there to be respect between everyone".

"It's inadmissible that in a democratic country the people are not allowed to vote".

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