Josep María Bartomeu spoke just before kick-off in the Barcelona v Las Palmas game in LaLiga which was played before closed doors after a day of unrest in Catalonia surrounding an independence referendum organised by the regional government that was held illegal by national courts.
"We lament the lack of freedom expression that's taken place in Catalonia today, which we take very seriously. We are very affected by the situation and we decided, instead of cancelling the game, as we wanted, to play behind closed doors. We want to show the game being played but that things are not normal. It's an exceptional situation. We give our support to those who have suffered from a lack freedom."
Barça tried to postpone Barcelona v Las Palmas
Bartomeu explained that Barcelona had tried to get LaLiga to postpone the game, but there was no way of having it played on another day. The Barça president explained that if Barcelona had not played the club would have been hit with a six point punishment. "We talked to the executives, the coaches and the players and we decided to play, but behind closed doors, as a protest. The important thing was not to lose the points".
Bartomeu continued: "It wasn't done for security reasons. The safety was fine. We did it because of the exceptional circumstances. In order that the whole world could see what's happened here".