Las Palmas have condemned Sunday’s Catalan referendum and will wear a Spanish flag on their jerseys against Barcelona.
The state of Catalonia will vote for whether it wants independence from Spain later, despite opposition from the country’s government, and Las Palmas have made it clear that they are siding with the latter.
A statement on the islanders’ official website reads: “History has again placed UD Las Palmas in an exceptional situation at Camp Nou.
“On October 30, 1977, we visited FC Barcelona on the day that an excited Josep Tarradellas took to the President’s box for the first time after his exile, and a monumental Senyera [Catalan flag] of 60 metres was planted on the pitch.
“Today, UD Las Palmas pay a visit [to Camp Nou], on an unprecedented date for our country, on the day that the Catalan government has set a referendum outside the Spanish legal framework.
“The public pronouncements in recent days, especially from our hosts, FC Barcelona, have turned this Liga Santander match into something more than a sporting event that complies with the fixture list.
“UD Las Palmas could have limited themselves to being silent witnesses at these historical crossroads or taken sides. We have settled for the latter.
“We have decided to embroider a small Spanish flag on our shirts, plus the date of today, October 1, 2017, to testify, without strings, our hope in the future of this country and goodwill of those who live in it, in search of the best understanding.
“No matter how far away Estadio Gran Canaria is, we have never felt even the smallest temptation to form part of another country.
“And regardless of how complex the situation may be, we will always rely on simplifying it to better understand and find solutions.
“Today, what we are doing is very simple. With the Spanish flag embroidered on our shirts, we want to vote unequivocally in this imaginary consultation, to which no-one has summoned us, that we believe in the unity of Spain.
“We do it from the moral authority of being the region furthest from the capital of this kingdom.
“We do it to tell the world that we feel pain for what is happening. We do this by trusting that no-one will be bothered by this gesture.
“It never bothered us to see senyeras waving in the stands, spread out on the pitch or wrapping the bodies of our opponents who, once the match is over, are our compatriots.
“They fill us with pride when they are part of one of the best teams in the world, or one of the best teams on the planet.”
The referendum has caused a constitutional crisis in Spain, with riot police out in force to stop the Catalan people from casting their votes.
Image courtesy udlaspalmas.es