Spaniards erupted in uproar to a call for this week’s King’s Cup final between Catalan giants Barcelona and Basque club Athletic Bilbao to be suspended and held behind closed doors to thwart protests by Basque and Catalan separatists.
Madrid regional government president Esperanza Aguirre made the threat to scupper plans by some fans to whistle during the national anthem before the final in protest against Spanish rule. “Insults to the flag or the anthem are a crime under the penal code,” said Aguirre. “It should not be allowed and the game should be suspended and held behind closed doors somewhere else.” The final will be played tomorrow at the Vicente-Calderon Stadium if it goes ahead.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.