Barca: Estelada ban a free speech attack

Barcelona have issued a statement strongly condemning the decision to ‘ban’ the Estelada flag from the Copa del Rey Final.

The Estelada is associated with Catalan independence and the Spanish government, by way of their representative in Madrid, has decided to prohibit it being flown when Barca meet Sevilla at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon, on Sunday, with prominent Catalan politicians planning to boycott the game as a result.

“Barcelona expresses, in the most absolute terms, its total and complete disagreement with the announcement prohibiting the display of Estelada flags at the final of the Copa del Rey,” a statement on the club’s website began.

Barcelona considers the decision to be an attack on the freedom of expression, the fundamental right of each and every individual to express their ideas and opinions freely and without censorship, a right which is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Barcelona has always defended, and will continue to defend, the freedom of expression of all its members and fans, who have always displayed a high level of civility and respect. [Barcelona] calls for the use of common sense and responsibility and demands the government representative’s cooperation in creating the good atmosphere a match such as the Copa del Rey final deserves.

“Barcelona also implores the representative to respect the honour of the institutions involved in this final and to avoid causing any uncomfortable situations.”