La Liga President Javier Tebas said on Friday that Barcelona supporters are "free to chant in favour of independence for Catalonia at games" but added that any "insulting" chants against Spain "could lead to the temporary closure" of Camp Nou, according to Richard Martin of REUTERS. Pro-independence gestures "have been on the rise" at Barça's stadium since the banned referendum on Catalonia's split from Spain on Oct. 1. Barcelona supporters have been "denounced for chants deemed insulting" toward opposing players and teams, but the club has "not incurred any punishment for pro-independence chants." Barcelona could not immediately be reached for comment. Tebas "ruled out clamping down on pro-Catalan separatist sentiment at Barcelona's stadium," where supporters chant for independence at "precisely 17 minutes and 14 seconds in each half of each game marking the 1714 Siege of Barcelona." Tebas: "Chanting for independence is today not considered an insult or inciting violence. Chants such as 'Fuck off Spain, Catalonia or Andalusia' have been denounced. If the Spanish federation decides a chant is subject to a sanction and the necessary bodies agree and there are various sanctions, then the league could order the closer of the Nou Camp" (REUTERS, 11/17).
Events and Attractions
Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle execs demanded the Scottish Professional Football League hold an "extensive review" into why Sunday's match against Heart of Midlothian was "allowed to remain in doubt until just hours before kickoff," according to Fraser Wilson of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Hearts "only got the final all-clear" for its new main stand at Tynecastle on Sunday morning after "working round the clock over the weekend to meet safety requirements." The match, which kicked off at 3pm, "was in doubt right up until 9am" and Partick execs "slammed the situation," saying that it "damaged Scottish football." Partick execs apologized to its fans and said that the situation "must never be allowed to happen again." In a statement, they said, "While Partick Thistle Football Club is pleased that today's Ladbrokes Premiership match against Hearts will go ahead, we remain deeply unhappy that the decision was left so late in the day. ... On Monday, we will be asking the SPFL for an extensive review into the circumstances that allowed this situation to arise" (DAILY RECORD, 11/19).
The world's best surfers are headed inland in '18, "with an artificial wave being added to the World Surf League's Championship Tour." The Surf Ranch Facility, developed by Kelly Slater, is said to "create consistent and predictable waves at the man-made facility in the middle of California." WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said, "We're only scratching the surface of how this technology can be applied and it is completely game-changing for the sport" (AAP, 11/18).
A Colombian football match between Junior and Deportivo Pasto was "postponed on Saturday after the visitors' bus was attacked," leaving a player and two members of the backroom staff injured, the league said. The league's Twitter page "showed pictures of holes in the bus window caused by projectiles and an unidentified passenger cowering on the seat" (REUTERS, 11/18).