October 19, 2019 / 3:24 PM / a month ago

Authorities right to postpone 'Clasico', says Barca's Lenglet

EIBAR, Spain (Reuters) - Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet has backed the decision to postpone the ‘Clasico’ between Barca and Real Madrid due to political unrest in Catalonia, while coach Ernesto Valverde said he hoped the authorities were able to reschedule the game soon.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - FC Barcelona v Inter Milan - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - October 2, 2019 Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella in action with Barcelona's Clement Lenglet REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) on Friday approved a request from La Liga to reschedule the Oct. 26 match at the Camp Nou due to continued violent demonstrations in the city of Barcelona following the jailing of Catalan separatist leaders.

Some 300 people have been arrested in the region since sentences were announced on Monday.

Barca said in a statement on Friday they were in favour of playing the ‘Clasico’ as scheduled despite the unrest but Lenglet backed the decision to call it off until tensions eased.

“The problems in Barcelona mean it’s better to postpone the game but the decision is the federation’s and the league’s, the players have no say,” Lenglet told reporters after Barca’s 3-0 win at Eibar on Saturday.

“I want to play the Clasico on any date, we can’t make excuses and say what date suits us better or worse, we have to play it whenever we are told to.”

The two clubs said they have agreed to play the game on Dec. 18 but La Liga’s president Javier Tebas has expressed his opposition to that option in a letter to the RFEF, arguing the game should be played on Dec. 4, the next available date.

Barca coach Valverde had previously said that he wanted the game to go ahead as planned but after the decision was made he urged La Liga and the RFEF to put their differences aside and confirm a date for the rescheduled game.

“I hope and trust that we’ll play this game before the first half of the season ends, or at least before the end of the season,” he said.

“It’s fashionable to not come to any consensus in political matters at the moment but I hope an agreement can be reached on this. It can’t be that hard.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis

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