FC Barcelona demand talks between Catalonia and Spain over independence stalemate
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 06/10/17 2:59pm
FC Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu insists the club will stand with the Catalan people and demand talks between the region and the rest of Spain over the current independence stalemate.
The La Liga giants' chief has followed calls from Andres Iniesta on Wednesday for both sides to engage in dialogue and respect the will of the Catalan people, following a referendum last weekend that yielded a 90 per cent result in favour of separation from Spain.
Bartomeu said: "These last few days, Catalonia has been going through one of the most transcendental periods in its recent history.
"FC Barcelona, as one of the leading institutions in the country, demands a process of dialogue and negotiations to find political solutions to the situation happening in Catalonia, and for this to be done with the utmost respect for the wish of the majority of Catalan people to decide on their future.
"We are more than a club (the club's motto). And it is precisely because of that that we feel that it is our duty to stand by our people, under such difficult circumstances as those that are being experienced right now.
"We are therefore officially supporting the Independent Commission for Mediation, Dialogue and Conciliation promoted by the Barcelona Bar Association. Together with other bodies from civil society, we want to build bridges with dialogue that contribute to resolving the conflict in a peaceful and consensual fashion.
"People understand each other through dialogue. FC Barcelona demands respect. As an institution that is so committed to the values of dialogue and peaceful coexistence, the club feels that all public manifestations need to contribute to building the bridges for dialogue that are necessary in this context while respecting the freedom of expression of the Catalan people.
"In order to overcome the crisis, it is indispensable for all of us to come together and to use our social functions to act responsibly. In our case, we shall defend the demand for such institutional dialogue where it might be needed, while in a sporting sense, we shall continue to compete in our different disciplines.
"We will aspire, as ever, to win every title. This shall be our way of showing the world the reality of what is happening in Catalonia and reasserting our commitment to our society and to freedom, the same commitment to which Barca has always been loyal throughout its 118 years of history. Long Live Barca. Long Live Catalonia."