FC Barcelona have released a statement condemning the raids on three Catalan regional government departments and the arrests of 12 senior officials.
The raids and arrests come as Madrid steps up its battle to stop an independence referendum being held in Catalonia in less than two weeks’ time.
Barça have never side either for or against independence, but have expressed their belief that the people should be free to decide themselves via a referendum.
However, central government in Madrid have not granted the region permission to stage a referendum on independence and are taking strong measurements against Catalonia’s push to stage one on Oct. 1.
A statement from the football club read: “In the wake of the events that have transpired in recent days and, especially, today, with regard to the current political situation in Catalonia, FC Barcelona, in remaining faithful to its historic commitment to the defence of the nation, to democracy, to freedom of speech, and to self-determination, condemns any act that may impede the free exercise of these rights.
“Therefore, FC Barcelona publicly expresses its support for all people, entities, and institutions that work to guarantee these rights.
“FC Barcelona, in holding the utmost respect for its diverse body of members, will continue to support the will of the majority of Catalan people, and will do so in a civil, peaceful, and exemplary way.”
Fieles a nuestra historia, condenamos cualquier acción que atente contra la democracia, la libertad de expresión y el derecho a decidir pic.twitter.com/fbxlRBI8LR— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) September 20, 2017