Barcelona defend acceptance of UEFA sanction for independence flags

Barcelona, Aug 6 (IANS) FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended the decision not to appeal the penalty of 30,000 euros ($32,700) that European football’s UEFA governing body imposed on the club for the display of Catalan independence flags by fans at the end of Champions League final last June.

Barcelona “will be firm but cool-headed. We will use all the legal and diplomatic options we have,” Bartomeu said during the 36th World Congress of Barcelona Supporters Clubs on Wednesday, reports Efe.

“I said we’d take this matter to the end, and we will. We are responding in the way that best characterises us – thinking about the club’s interests and those of Catalonia,” he added.

The chief executive of the Catalan club stated that the decision not to appeal the UEFA fine is not “out of weakness” and said the independence symbols also belong to the team, not just the fans.

“We will use all the legal and diplomatic options we have. That’s because we think that the best for us and for everyone is respect for freedom of expression,” the Barca president said.



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