Camp Nou Could Be Closed Over 'Insulting' Chants Toward Spain, La Liga President Says
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).