Spain has been on a boil after violence erupted during the disputed referendum on Catalonian independence. Catalan is a region in Spain that has been demanding independence from the European nation.
Several thousands of protestors demonstrated against the brutal crackdown on them by police after the Spanish government threatened people not to vote. Criminal charges were leveled against thousands but this did not stop the Catalans.
However, the violence impacted businesses and schools in the Catalan capital of Barcelona. The impact was so great that an FC Barcelona match, something that fans fight over on a usual day, saw an empty stadium on the day of the protest.
FC Barcelona released this video showing an empty Camp Nou for the game against Las Palmas...— Proper Sport (@ProperSport) October 3, 2017
How disconcerting... pic.twitter.com/7gylJzckBN
Barcelona shut their doors for their 3-0 win over Las Palmas on Sunday in support of a peaceful vote.
But most players were shocked over the violence that ensued during the voting.
Barca players, including their non-Spanish players such as Messi and Luis Suarez, joined the country in a national strike on Tuesday.
In fact, Gerard Pique, Spanish football team’s legendary defender and a vocal supporter of Catalonia seceding from Spain, said that he will not play for Spain at the 2018 World Cup if fans have a problem with him voting for an independent Catalonia.
He drew a lot of flak from Spain fans for voting Catalonia to gain Independence.
"I know that there are people in Spain who condemn what has happened and believe in democracy,” he said tearfully during an interview.
Tennis legend from Spain, Rafael Nadal, said that he felt like crying after seeing the violence that ensued as people tried to vote in the referendum.
Nadal speaks Catalan, but had condemned the referendum and separation from Spain. But the violence against his fellow Catalans is what upset the tennis star.
“I want to cry when I see a country where we have known how to co-exist and be a good example to the rest of the world gets to a situation like this,” he said in a press conference in Beijing before he starts his China Open campaign.
While more demonstrations are slated to take place, Spanish sportspersons may be in the middle of a crossfire between Spain and Catalonia.