Catalan independence
Posters for Catalan independence Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Update:

Barcelona's Spanish league game against Las Palmas was played without fans at the Camp Nou Stadium amid the controversial referendum on Catalonia's independence on Sunday.

Barcelona made the closed-doors announcement with less than a half hour to kickoff, with thousands of soccer fans already waiting outside the stadium.

The club wanted the game to be postponed, but it said that the Spanish league refused to do this.

More than 300 people were injured Sunday as Spanish authorities tried to half the independence vote that the central government said was unconstitutional.

Original story

Barcelona's Spanish league game against Las Palmas could be suspended amid the controversial referendum on Catalonia's independence on Sunday (1 October).

Barcelona club officials were meeting to decide whether the game at the Camp Nou Stadium should go ahead while Spanish authorities continued to try to halt the vote that the central government said was unconstitutional.

Spanish media said the club planned to call for the match's suspension because of safety concerns.

Several people were injured Sunday after riot police smashed their way into polling stations and fired rubber bullets at protesters outside a Barcelona polling station.

Las Palmas said it would show its support for a unified Spain by adding a Spanish flag to the shirts that the team was going to wear against Barcelona.

The Canary Islands club said that Sunday's match had become more than a sporting event, especially because of the recent statements by Barcelona expressing its support for the referendum.

Nou Camp
Barcelona beat Las Palmas 3-0 in front of an empty Nou Camp on Sunday Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Las Palmas said the club will not limit itself to being a "quiet witness at an historic crossroads". It said that by wearing the flag it will be showing its unequivocal support for a "united Spain".

The club noted that even though it is based far from the mainland, it "never felt the slightest temptation to become another country."

"We are doing this to show the world that we are hurt by what is happening," the club said in its statement.

Barcelona has openly backed the referendum and criticised Spanish authorities trying to impede the vote that Spain's government considers illegal because questions of state should involve all Spaniards, not just those in one region.

Barcelona's Camp Nou, Europe's largest stadium with a capacity of nearly 100,000, is often used as a rallying point for Catalan nationalists.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, one of the most outspoken players defending the referendum, called Sunday's incidents "shameful."

Before casting his vote, he said on Twitter that "together we are unstoppable defending democracy".

The Catalan soccer federation cancelled all local games organised by the federation, most of them involving youth squads and lower divisions.