The matter at hand…
Football has proven to be a powerful avenue where people can send a message or let their voices be heard in matters that are important to them. A football spectacle scheduled initially for this weekend has been moved to December 18 of this year because of political tension. This spectacle is what we’ve all come to know as el Clasico. This is because of the imprisonment of political leaders in the Catalonia region where they are seeking independence from Spain. The initial referendum to see if the people in the region wanted the aforementioned independence was sabotaged by the Spanish government. With Catalonia leaders being arrested and violence between members of the masses and the Spanish police leaving many injured. All this happened a while ago and el Clasico has suffered for it recently.
Until now, the leaders in the region were just being detained for their part in what the Spanish government deemed at the time as an illegal voting process. News of the sentence to serve time ranging from 9 to 13 years in jail has led to many proposing to use the el Clasico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona to voice their displeasure. Barcelona for their part issued a statement that prison sentence was not the solution to the problem. The Rally scheduled for October 26 which coincides with the el Clasico has led to the Spanish FA postponing the match.
While this is a good move to separate politics from football, the fact is that it affects football. Tickets long sold to people who have been waiting anxiously since the beginning of the season had to be returned. This weekend, football lovers have been robbed of the spectacle of the most heated rivalry in club football. Many are worried that postponing the match will hand one of the teams a lifeline. That is because both teams have failed to fully convince since the beginning of the season.
The overall head to head and history is something that hasn’t failed to woo even the most loyal of fans. Even those whose allegiance lies with other teams in other countries. Many will pick a side they want based on the stars available in those teams. While others choose a side because of the history shared with the team they support, good or bad. Even the excitement involved in the lead to the match with footage of past seasons and predictions is now on hold.
Football has served as a way for certain global issues to be spoken about and the results have been quite mixed. Like the issue of racism which is virtually on at least a sign or banner in every high profile match. This is done to let the issue be in people’s mind and to denounce it publically. The result has been immense but the issue remains till date and will last long after this year. Let’s hope a better avenue is found to deal with the issue in Catalonia, as football and politics shouldn’t mix.
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