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Barcelona's game played behind-closed-doors after violent scenes on the streets of the city

Tonight’s La Liga fixture against Las Palmas will go ahead despite protests surrounding the Catalan referendum vote.

Barcelona v Juventus - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Camp Nou Barca's home ground -- the Camp Nou. Source: Mike Egerton

Updated at 15.00 

BARCELONA’S MATCH AGAINST Las Palmas will be played behind-closed-doors today after violent clashes going on around Catalonia amid their independence referendum vote.

Videos of police beating citizens in the street and firing rubber bullets emerged on social media as those around the region attempted to cast their ballots in a vote that the Spanish government has declared illegal.

Barcelona’s official supporters group also released a statement to say they would invade the pitch if the fixture — scheduled for 3.15pm (4.15pm local time) went ahead and the club has decided to play the match without fans present at the Camp Nou after claiming the league refused to call it off.

“FC Barcelona condemns the events which have taken place in many parts of Catalonia today in order to prevent its citizens exercising their democratic right to free expression,” reads a statement released this afternoon.

“Given the exceptional nature of events, the Board of Directors have decided that the FC Barcelona first team game against Las Palmas will be played behind closes following the Professional Football League’s refusal to postpone the game.

CORRECTION Spain Catalonia near a polling station. A Spanish policeman swings his baton near a polling station in Barcelona. Source: AP/PA Images

The Catalan Footbal Federation (FCF) had already cancelled all games in the fourth tier and regional and amateur games and, as Barca still had not opened their stadium doors just a few hours before kick-off, it became evident that their match was at risk.

After weeks of tension which consisted of Spanish police raiding Catalan government offices — drawing criticism from Barcelona and leading to former star Olegeur branding the country a militarised state — the controversy increased even further today.

Gerard Pique cast his vote in the referendum and did so with pride, tweeting a picture of him with his ballot and the message: “I have already voted. Together we are unstoppable in defending democracy.”

However, Las Palmas took things to another level and promised to ensure that the anti-Catalan independence voice would be present in the game had it gone ahead.

Sunday’s visitors from the Canary Islands courted controversy by revealing that their players would take to the field with a Spanish flag embroidered on their jerseys to show their disdain for the vote.

“Today, Las Palmas pay a visit to Camp Nou, on an unprecedented date for our country, on the day that the Catalan government has set a referendum outside the Spanish legal framework,” a statement read.

“The public pronouncements in recent days, especially from Barcelona, ​have turned this Liga match into something more than a sporting event that complies with the fixture list.

“Today, what we are doing is very simple.With the Spanish flag embroidered on our shirts, we want to vote unequivocally in this imaginary consultation, to which no-one has summoned us, that we believe in the unity of Spain.”

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