Amid demonstrations over Catalonia’s disputed independence vote on Sunday, Barcelona won its seventh game in a row, playing in an empty Camp Nou stadium to protest the Spanish government’s attempt to halt the referendum.
Barcelona defeated Las Palmas, 3-0, to maintain a perfect record. Lionel Messi scored two goals, and Sergio Busquets added one. Las Palmas players wore Spanish flags on their shirts to show support for a unified Spain.
Barcelona, which openly backed the referendum, had wanted to postpone the game, but its request was denied by the Spanish league. It decided to play to avoid losing points but kept the stadium empty “to show the entire world that we were not pleased with what happened” in Catalonia, said Josep Bartomeu, the club president.
By the day’s end, Catalonia’s health services said 844 people had been treated in hospitals for injuries, including two in serious condition, as the Spanish authorities tried to stop the independence vote that the central government said was unconstitutional. Thirty-three police were also injured.
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