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Monday, 27 September 2021

Valverde tells fans to protest freely in Clasico but show respect

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Valverde tells fans to protest freely in Clasico but show respect
Valverde tells fans to protest freely in Clasico but show respect

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde urges fans to be respectful during pre-Clasico protests.

SHOWS: BARCELONA, SPAIN (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FC BARCELONA COACH, ERNESTO VALVERDE, SAYING: "Well, I do know that this happened during the Rayo and Albacete match.

I am not afraid of anything in this regard for tomorrow's match.

I believe that people can express themselves freely on the field as long as there is respect for everyone.

That is what we always ask from the club, that there be respect for all people, for those who perform on the field, for the opposition fans.

I think that is good.

I don't know what will happen from now on after having suspended that game, we'll see.

But what we do understand is that football has to be something to unite everyone, not separate us." STORY: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said fans can protest if they wish but must remain respectful during Wednesday's (December 17) La Liga clash with Real Madrid, which is set to be a highly-politicised encounter between Spain's biggest rivals.

'El Clasico' has always been fraught with tension -- Luis Figo, who left Barcelona for Real Madrid, famously had a pig's head thrown at him in one match in 2002 -- and anger about the central government's handling of the region's independence drive is expected to be felt in the stands.

Fans' chants and actions are set to come in for renewed scrutiny, however, after Sunday's second division match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was abandoned for offensive chanting and Valverde warned supporters not to cross the line.

The match was originally scheduled for Oct.

26 but postponed due to political unrest in Barcelona over the jailing of Catalan independence leaders and the rescheduled match will take place amid a large pro self-determination protest around the Camp Nou.