Kolkata: Top European club FC Barcelona may well end up playing in the Premier League if Sunday’s referendum on Catalan independence is passed, claimed the region’s sports minister. The controversial referendum in fact if passed will make Catalunya an independent nation, giving birth to a new country.
Three Spanish clubs namely, Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona face an uncertain future on the back of the referendum for independence. But, sports minister Gerard Figueras believes that there are plenty of options available.
“In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga – Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona – will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country: Italy, France or the Premier League,” he said.
He also added that, “Now in Spain there are teams from other countries who play in national leagues: clubs from Andorra in football and basketball. Monaco play in France, in England Welsh clubs. I don’t think that UEFA has anything against seeing another club play in a different league from their country.”
However, the Spanish government have declared the vote illegal and the ballot boxed have also been seized. Prime minister Mariano have also informed the the vote “won’t happen.”
Despite the resistance from the government, the 7.5 million Catalunya citizens including big names such as Pep Guardiola and Gerard Piqué have voiced their support for the vote.
Although nothing has been confirmed, La-Liga president Javier Tebas clearly stated that if independent, Catalunya clubs will not be allowed to play in the Spanish League.
“In sport, it isn’t a la carte and things must be clearly stated. It isn’t easy to have an agreement and study Spanish legislation but if they (Catalan clubs) do get that, then they will not be able to play in Spain’s La Liga, but I hope it doesn’t come to that,” he said in a statement.
It is never easy to see states demanding freedom away from it’s mother nation, but the independence of Catalunya may present us an intriguing prospect of seeing one of the world’s greatest player, Lionel Messi ply his trade in the Premier League.
His rumoured transfer to English giants Manchester City has been a hot topic in the past years, but now team FC Barcelona as a whole may move to the English Premier League.
Such a move will not only create history but also increase the fan-base of the league. The EPL is one of the most followed and is said to be the toughest league across the world and FC Barcelona’s addition will make it more qualitative.