FC Barcelona’s celebration of winning LaLiga against city rivals Espanyol stopped early as pitch invaders stormed Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. For Spanish soccer, it was ugly scenes all around.
FC Barcelona fans danced around on a rival’s field. Moreover, this is a rival likely to suffer relegation. However, the response from Espanyol supporters was shocking, to say the least.
Droves of fans ran at Barcelona players and security officials. The madness spilled into the players’ tunnel, where Sergio Busquets and other Barcelona players told the police to sort the issue out.
However, one of the most shocking twists needed video recordings. One of the people to run on the field and actually throw a TV camera to the ground was a member of the People’s Party of Catalonia, a political party in the city of Barcelona that leans conservative. Video shows Yago Darnell, an Espanyol ultra, attempting to hide his face as he thrusts a massive camera onto its side.
Darnell effectively serves on the city council of Sant Joan Despí, a smaller city within Barcelona that is just north of where Espanyol plays its games. However, the People’s Party asked Darnell to step down once video clearly showed his face. He obliged and resigned on Monday.
Espanyol pitch invaders leave rivalry on bad note
This Catalan derby may take a backseat to some of the other rivalries in Spain. El Clasico, the Seville derby and the Madrid derby are all highlight games. The same international passion does not exist for the Derbi Barceloní. Yet, this is a contest that extends back into the 1920s. In total, the two Catalan clubs have played one another over 200 times. Most of those are in LaLiga.
However, Espanyol faces relegation this season. That contributed to the fans’ emotion in storming at the Barcelona players. Therefore, in all likelihood, this is the last time these two will play each other for at least one season. Espanyol has been relegated five times before this campaign. On each occasion, it secured promotion at the first time of trying.
PHOTO: IMAGO / NurPhoto
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