Barca coach Valverde against postponing 'El Clasico'

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Barcelona's head coach Ernesto Valverde looks on during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final first leg match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona at Old Trafford in Manchester, Britain on April 10, 2019. Barcelona won 1-0. (Xinhua)

FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said on Thursday he was against postponing the 'Clasico' between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid due to the ongoing disturbances in the Catalan region in north-east Spain.

According to the Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs, 97 people have so far been arrested after violent protests against the imprisonment of 9 Catalan political and social leaders saw demonstrators burn improvised barricades and throw stones and bottles at police.

That has raised fears that the 'Clasico', which is scheduled to be played at 13:00 hours local time on October 26th could be the target for protests, especially given the deep traditional rivalry between Barca and Real Madrid.

Consequently the Spanish football league (LaLiga) are reported to be considering asking the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for the match to be postponed to a later date.

However, in his pre-game press conference ahead of Barca's visit to play Eibar on Saturday, Valverde said he believed the Clasico should go ahead.

"It is scheduled for October 26 and I have no doubt that it will go ahead without problems, respecting the opponents and everyone else involved."

"There are nine days left until the match and there is currently too much talk," added the Barca boss.

"If the match were tomorrow then perhaps it wouldn't go ahead, but there are still nine days to go. There is room to maneuver," he commented, before adding that whatever decision the (RFEF) took the club would "do whatever is decided."

Valverde gave his press conference a day earlier than usual because Barcelona are travelling for their game on Thursday in order to avoid any possible disruption from a general strike that has been called for the Catalan region on Friday. Enditem

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