‘Separatist’ flags at matches part of freedom of expression, Barcelona to appeal UEFA fine

04 June 2016
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Barcelona to appeal UEFA fine over estelada flags

 

European football's governing body, UEFA, fined the Blaugrana (Barcelona) over fans' use of the estelada flag - an unofficial flag typically flown by Catalan separatists to express their support for an independent Catalonia - during the Champions League, but the club will contest the charge.

Barcelona have vowed to appeal UEFA's decision to fine them €150,000 for displaying estelada flags during Champions League matches.

The Spanish champions' fans showed the estelada flags on more than one occasion throughout the 2015-16 campaign.

UEFA, however, considers the banner to be a form of ideological, political and religious propaganda, which is forbidden by European football's governing body, and therefore slapped Barcelona with a fine.

The Camp Nou side feels displaying estelada flags falls under the freedom of expression, though, and are ready to take legal action.

"The club has received notice of the sanction imposed by the UEFA Disciplinary Committee following the display of estelada flags at the Camp Nou at Champions League matches in the 2015-16 season," a statement on the club's official website reads.

"The club has been handed a €150,000 fine, of which €50,000 is suspended if the events are not repeated in the next two years.

"The club will appeal this sanction and will take all legal measures in order for the punishment to be revoked.

"Barcelona consider the punishment to be totally unjust and against the exercise of the freedom of expression." - GOAL.COM

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Barotseland Post stands in solidarity with Barcelona, not just because they are the best football club in the world, but also because Catalonia like Barotseland are pushing for the right to exercise their indelible human rights of self-determination and freedom of expression violated by the mother states of Spain and Zambia respectively.

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