Next week’s clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid was postponed on Friday by the Spanish soccer federation to avoid coinciding with a large separatist rally in riot-stricken Catalonia. The federation’s competitions committee said Barcelona and Madrid have until Monday to decide on another date. If the clubs cannot agree, then the committee will choose. The Spanish league wanted the match to be moved from Barcelona to Madrid because of security concerns, with the return match automatically switched from Madrid to Barcelona. But the competitions committee rejected that idea, saying that it was against its rules to invert the order of the games. The federation, in consultation with government officials, said it wasn’t safe to play on the same day as the rally. The Spanish league runs the top two soccer divisions in the country, while the federation controls regulations and matches for professional and amateur games. Catalonia has seen violent protests for the … [Read more...] about Barcelona v Real Madrid called off following unrest in Catalonia
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What does Zinedine Zidane dream about? Cute cats? No, it’s not his style. Cakes? He’s too svelte. Scary monsters? He’s 47 years old for heaven’s sake! No, according to reports in Spain, Zizou goes to bed at night and “dreams of” N’Golo Kanté. The Real Madrid manager believes signing the ultimate defensive midfield pivot will open up a new glittering pathway towards untold glories at the Bernabéu. Kanté won’t come cheap, though, so Florentino Pérez will strap £86m to James Rodríguez and dangle him in front of Stamford Bridge in the hope that Chelsea beancounters bite. Another midfielder who may be on the move is Ivan Rakitic, who has fallen so far down the pecking order at Barcelona that he’s probably making tea for Frenkie de Jong as you read this sentence. It says here that Juventus and Manchester United are interested, though with the Italian champions having around 756 available central midfielders … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté to join Real Madrid?
Reports from Spain suggest Real Madrid have placed a team of scouts in a VAR-type nerve centre, peering at screens all the better to “monitor” the movements of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and RB Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland. They won’t have seen much of the 19-year-old Englishman over the weekend after he was dropped from Dortmund’s squad as punishment for returning 24 hours late from international duty with England, the latest in a series of time-keeping offences. Manchester United are also understood to be keeping tabs on the two youngsters. Manchester City are preparing to offer Raheem Sterling a new and improved deal worth £450,000 per week to keep any potential suitors – yes, you again Real Madrid – from trying to turn his head. Elsewhere in the city, Manchester United are considering making a move for former Liverpool player Emre Can. The German midfielder’s move to Juventus just hasn’t worked out and after a … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland to Real Madrid?
La Liga has asked that this month’s Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid be moved to the capital amid growing protests in Catalonia. Nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed for between nine and 13 years on Monday over their roles in the failed push for regional independence two years ago, sparking protests and clashes across the region. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia. The match is due to take place on 26 October at Barça’s Camp Nou stadium. But La Liga has asked the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to reverse the fixture. The second meeting of the season is due to take place in Madrid in March. “We have requested the competitions committee of the RFEF to meet and change the location of El Clásico to Madrid because of exceptional circumstances beyond our control,” a La Liga spokesman said. The RFEF did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The announcement of the jail terms triggered mass protests across … [Read more...] about La Liga calls for upcoming Clásico to be moved from Barcelona to Madrid
Barcelona has been flooded with an estimated half a million angry demonstrators waving pro-independence flags as protests over the jailing of Catalan separatist leaders roll into their fifth day. While the vast majority of the rallies were peaceful, a few hundred masked youths clashed with Spanish police in the heart of the city late in the afternoon on Friday, blocking a broad boulevard with burning garbage bins and hurling rocks at the security forces. One elderly man appeared to have had enough of the unrest and boldly confronted masked demonstrators while waving what appears to be a baton, as the demonstrators set up street barricades around him. Some of the protesters even appear to cower away from the man as he lunges at them with the black baton. The unrest was sparked on Monday as the Spanish Supreme Court decided to jail nine separatist leaders for their role in a 2017 independence referendum banned by Madrid and a short-lived … [Read more...] about Masked demonstrators clash with riot police (and one old man) as HALF A MILLION people take to the streets of Barcelona during general strike marking fifth day of protests over jailing of separatist leaders