Barcelona played in an empty stadium creating a surreal scene on day of vote for Catalonian independence

Barcelona played their La Liga match against Las Palmas in an empty stadium on Sunday as the backdrop of the referendum on Catalonian independence loomed.

Barcelona made the announcement that doors would be closed for the match just minutes before kickoff with thousands of fans already waiting outside Camp Nou Stadium, citing security concerns.

In the statement released by the club, Barcelona criticised La Liga for refusing to allow the game to be postponed and denounced the actions of the Spanish police, who had clashed with citizens in the lead-up to the vote.

FC Barcelona condemns the events which have taken place in many parts of Catalonia today in order to prevent its citizens exercising their democratic right to free expression.

Given the exceptional nature of events, the Board of Directors have decided that the FC Barcelona first team game against Las Palmas will be played behind closed doors following the Professional Football League’s refusal to postpone the game.

The result was a surreal scene, with Lionel Messi and company taking to the pitch in relative silence, as opposed to the usual roars of an adoring crowd.

Barcelona would win the game 3-0, with Messi netting two goals in the second half. After the match, Barcelona posted the word “Democracia” across their scoreboard.

Barcelona will have two weeks off before their next fixture, when they will face fellow La Liga powerhouse Atlético Madrid on the road.

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