Catalan lawmakers voted yesterday to declare independence from Spain, as Madrid vowed, in turn, to “restore legality” and quash the region’s secessionist bid. Local media reported that police were considering postponing the encounter in the Catalonian-based city for security reasons amid the confusion.
“We are not aware of any news regarding this,” Geli told Cadena Cope. “We are working so that the game at 4.15 Sunday is a good one and that people can enjoy themselves.”
Roughly the size of Belgium, the semi-autonomous northeastern region accounts for about 16% of Spain’s population and a fifth of its economic output.
Girona won promotion to La Liga for the first time in its 87-year history after finishing second in the Segunda Division in the 2016-17 campaign. Geli says his team is excited to face the reigning Spanish and European champions.
“It’s a historical game for us, as it’s the first time we will host Real Madrid in the league,” he said.
“Just as it was a month ago, when we hosted FC Barcelona and likewise when we had Atletico Madrid here for our season opener. Our only thoughts on Sunday are for our recently promoted team to try to put Real Madrid on the ropes, just as we did against Barca and Atletico. We expect Real president Florentino Perez and other Real executives to attend. We are convinced that nothing will happen on Sunday. Real Madrid are welcome here and will be respected.”
Catalan Football Federation president Andreu Subies also confirmed that no changes were being considered.
“For the time being, there is no change nor any news that the game will be cancelled. There’s no problem,” said, Subies, who admits the political situation is “worrying” but that sport has to stay away from politics.
He told Onda Cero radio: “Those who are in charge are politicians, but those like us that are in a different place, we will try to bring as much normalcy as we can and that includes in football.”
Asked what would happen to Catalan teams playing in Spain’s divisions if the campaign for independence continues, Subies said: “I think the football world would remain the same. I don’t think things would change. The competitions would have to be completed as you have to guarantee them, as there are commitments in place.”