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BARCELONA

Barcelona respond to Supreme Court: 'Prison is not the solution'

The Catalan club were the first to respond to the court ruling on Monday after jail terms were handed to Catalan separatist leaders guilty of sedition.

Barcelona respond to Supreme Court: 'Prison is not the solution'

On Monday morning the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to prison terms after finding them guilty of sedition. Just a few minutes after the sentence was read out, FC Barcelona issued a statement in which it stood behind those leaders stating: "PRISON IS NOT THE SOLUTION'.

The football club was the first major Catalan entity to express an opinion on the decision.

Barcelona's communication

"FC Barcelona, as one of the leading entities in Catalonia, and in accordance with its historical record, for the defence of freedom of expression and the right to decide, today, after the condemnatory ruling issued by the Supreme Court in relation to the open process against the Catalan civic and political leaders, states that:

In the same way that the preventive prison sentence didn't help to resolve the conflict, neither will the prison sentence given today, because prison is not the solution.

The resolution of the conflict in Catalonia must come exclusively from political dialogue.

Therefore, now more than ever, the club asks all political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict, which should also allow for the release of convicted civic and political leaders.

FC Barcelona also expresses all its support and solidarity to the families of those who are deprived of their freedom."

Vice-captain Gerard Piqué immediately took to Twitter to show his solidarity.

It now remains to be seen if the protests expected in Catalonia will have an effect on the team's scheduled training. At the moment, a strike is expected on Friday, the day when the team planned to travel to Eibar ahead of their game on Saturday.