Barcelona’s national soccer team, FC Barcelona, has released an official statement condemning the acts of the Spanish government against Catalonia.
In its attempts to prevent Catalonia from holding an independence referendum planned for Oct. 1, the Catalan Ministries were raided and at least 13 officials were arrested.
Guard members were searching for voting materials related to the Catalan government’s referendum vote on whether or not to become an independent state, apart from Spain.
“In the wake of the events that have transpired in recent days and, especially, today, with regard to the current political situation in Catalonia, FC Barcelona, in remaining faithful to its historic commitment to the defence of the nation, to democracy, to freedom of speech, and to self-determination, condemns any act that may impede the free exercise of these rights," the statement read.
FC Barcelona, whose motto is “More than a Club,” is seen as the embodiment of the Catalan people, and its history is entwined with that of its people and their desire for self-determination and independence.
Its anthem is played before every game at the Camp Nou and the club say “the words perfectly depict the values of supporting Barca, especially the spirit of welcoming outsiders into Catalan society — a spirit that is reflected all the way through the Club membership.”
According to El Pais in English, 14 people were arrested, 11 of whom are Catalan state officials, including the services director to the vice premier, Natalia Garriga.
The Barcelona mayor tweeted that, it is a “scandal” for the government to search institutions and to arrest public officials in this manner, adding that, “Barcelona stands by Catalan institutions and defends Catalan self-rule.”
The President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, who leads the Catalan independence separatist movement, blamed the raids on Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. Rajoy said the raids were a result of a court decision.