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Catalan vote could see Barca in French league

November 24, 2012

Catalonia, Catalonia vote, barcelona, la liga, french league
Demonstrators wave Catalan flags during a protest rally in Barcelona, Spain. -Photo by AP

BARCELONA: If Catalan voters back an independence drive in Sunday's regional election then Barcelona football club may consider its options - including competing in the French league, according to city mayor Javier Trias.

Trias, who backs secession by the eastern region from crisis-hit Spain, said Saturday that the four-times European champions could continue to play on in the Spanish league or “perhaps, in the French league.”

“We do not have the possibility of a competitive league” for Catalonia, population just over seven million, said Trias.

“There would be very few teams and we would have to join another league - we could adhere to the Spanish league or perhaps the French league,” he told AFP.

Asked if the club itself had a political facet Trias noted that that had been more the case in previous years.

“Years back, in the time of the (Franco) dictatorship, the club was a reference point for everyone in Catalonia and it was said that Barca was more than a club.”

He also noted that the club “represent a particular style and way of doing things which make us proud.”