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Espanyol call for politics-free home

Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona-based La Liga side Espanyol on Thursday called for supporters to make sure the political division sweeping Catalonia do not affect the atmosphere at upcoming home matches.

The Catalan regional parliament will meet on Thursday evening to decide how best to deal with the prospect of Spain’s central government seizing the region’s autonomous powers to stave off a push for independence for the region.

“We are concerned over the possibility that the existing political conflict will be reproduced in other areas of Catalan public life and, in particular, in the social sphere of our beloved RCD Espanyol,” the club said in a statement, signed by various supporters’ groups.

“We will work together restlessly to support our club and avoid this situation of public division arising at RCDE Stadium.

“We are aware, as the club itself, that will be a complex and continuous task, but together we will do it.”

Espanyol, who sit 13th in La Liga, have come under far less pressure to take a political stance than cross city rivals FC Barcelona.

Barca have publicly backed Catalonia’s right to self-determination in a referendum, but insisted they won’t take sides in the independence debate.

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