Barcelona, Real Madrid agree new date after Clasico postponed due to protests

MADRID (AFP) – Barcelona and Real Madrid have agreed a new date of December 18 for the ‘Clasico’ after Spain’s biggest football match was postponed on Friday due to protests in Catalonia.

The fixture was set to be Barcelona’s first home game since nine pro-Catalan independence leaders were sentenced to imprisonment on Monday for their role in the illegal referendum in 2017.

Barca and Madrid swiftly came to an agreement, hours after the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced they had until 10am tomorrow to find a revised date for the game.

All that remains is for the RFEF to confirm the change with La Liga, although the league would prefer the match take place on December 7.

December 7 is a Saturday and has more potential for broadcasters, but such a date would require moving both the Barcelona against Real Mallorca and Madrid against Espanyol matches.

December 18 is a Wednesday and would clash with the Copa del Rey but neither Barca nor Madrid will be involved at that stage of Spain’s domestic cup competition.

In a statement on Friday, Barcelona stressed their belief that the original fixture, scheduled for October 26 at Camp Nou, should have gone ahead.

“The club’s desire was to play the Clasico at Camp Nou on the October 26, the date and time previously agreed and the Committee was informed of this in writing,” read the Barcelona statement.

“The club has the utmost confidence in the peaceful behaviour of its members and fans who always express themselves in exemplary fashion at Camp Nou.

“Nevertheless, having received the decision of the RFEF Competition Committee to postpone the game citing ‘exceptional circumstances’ and given that it falls to the clubs to agree a new date for the game before Monday, the club will propose December 18.”

File photo shows banners demanding freedom hanging from the grandstands during the Spanish league match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. PHOTO: AFP