Published: Mon, October 02, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Guardiola: Barcelona shouldn't have been forced to play Las Palmas

Earlier, Barcelona had requested the game be suspended following violence over Catalonia's controversial independence vote as at least 91 people were injured as Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into activist-held polling stations over the independence vote deemed illegal by the Spanish government on Sunday.

"The board tried to stop the game being played by all means went into the dressing room to make the decision with us".

"So, we made a decision to play the game and do it behind closed doors so that [people] can see our disagreement". It has been a tough day.

Las Palmas, who stoked tensions by wearing a Spanish flag on their jersey for the game, came closest to scoring just before the interval when Argentine Jonathan Calleri struck the post.

"It is not a security issue, the Mossos had given us permission to play, it was all right".

Speaking in his post-match press conference and reported by Tribuna, coach Valverde said: "It was a weird and complicated situation for everyone and it wasn't possible to postpone the game".

Pique, one of the most outspoken players defending the referendum, had called Sunday's incidents "shameful".

"I think I can continue going with the national team because I truly believe there are many people in Spain totally against the events that took place today in Catalonia and that believe in democracy", said Pique.

Gerard Pique broke down in tears describing Barcelona's 3-0 win over Las Palmas in an empty stadium as the "worst professional experience" of his life on a chaotic Sunday in Catalonia.

"It was very unusual, of course it's not normal but today's events overshadowed the game", Busquets said on playing behind closed doors.

Real were missing Gareth Bale with a calf injury so Isco played in an advanced role behind Cristiano Ronaldo and made the most of a through ball from his Portuguese team mate to coolly fire under Pau Lopez and put Real ahead on the half-hour mark.

The Spanish league said there was no reason to suspend the game because authorities had guaranteed the safety of everyone involved, including the fans.

Las Palmas added a Spanish flag to the shirts that the players were against Barcelona to show its support for a unified Spain.

Las Palmas said that even though it is based far from the mainland, it "never felt the slightest temptation to become another country".

The Catalan soccer federation cancelled all local games organised by the federation, a lot of them involving youth squads and lower divisions.

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