This month’s El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been rearranged for 18 December, it has been confirmed.
La Liga had requested that the upcoming clash be switched to the Spanish capital, but this has been ruled out in favour of a postponement.
The match had been scheduled to be played at the Blaugrana’s Camp Nou stadium on 26 October but due to the current volatility of the situation, La Liga asked that the game be reversed to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
That proposal has been rejected by both clubs involved and with such a fluid period of unrest in Catalonia, the most likely option was always that it would be pushed back by two months.
The Spanish FA, as supported by the clubs, have pushed for the date of 18 December but La Liga instead had been arguing for 7 December, with the Real Madrid-Espanyol and Barcelona-Mallorca matches, scheduled for that weekend, be played on Wednesday 4 December.
The date of Wednesday 18 December coincides with the Copa del Rey – when neither of the giants will be playing, but La Liga wanted a weekend date for maximum TV exposure.
There are fears that a high-level demonstration could take place and it would be in the best interests of everyone to switch the games for this league campaign.
Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in an independence referendum in 2017.
Oriol Junqueras – the former vice-president of Catalonia and the highest-ranking pro-independence leader on trial – was handed the longest sentence of 13 years for sedition and misuse of public funds.
The prosecution had sought up to 25 years in prison for Junqueras but he, alongside the eight others, were cleared of a more serious charge of rebellion.
Following the court's verdict, Catalan independence supporters marched in Barcelona displaying banners that read "free political prisoners" while urging others to "take to the streets".
Over the weekend, hundreds of protesters rallied in the city ahead of the verdicts being confirmed on Monday.