Following the decision to postpone Saturday’s meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid, it has been confirmed that the first Clasico of the season will take place on December 18.
Riots in Barcelona over the past two weeks led to La Liga requesting that the game be moved from Camp Nou to Santiago Bernabeu, with the reverse fixture then to be played in Catalunya later in the season.
But with both clubs against such a switch, the match was instead rescheduled, with a final call on that date having been made by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
“The decision of the competition committee has come after analysing in recent days the proposals of both clubs, which they invited to agree on a date and who agreed to signal on December 18 for the rescheduling of the postponed match,” an RFEF statement read.
Though both clubs suggested December 18 – a Wednesday – La Liga have confirmed that they will appeal the new date will stand given their hope of showcasing the biggest match in the competition to a wider audience.
The original fixture was set to kick-off at 12pm BST (7am ET) so as to allow fans in Asia as well as in the United States and South America to watch the match live, with the proposed new evening kick-off set to impact the former.
“La Liga does not share the resolution of the competition committee to settle on December 18 – following the agreement reached by FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, but La Liga’s refusal – as the new date of the previously postponed Clasico,” a statement from La Liga read.
“We are studying the documentation referring to this procedure to assess the possible legal actions to be taken, against the corresponding institutions and before the public bodies or jurisdictional bodies that it deems appropriate.”
The decision to move the original match on October 26 away from Camp Nou was taken following chaotic scenes in Barcelona in the aftermath of nine Catalan separatist leaders being jailed for between nine and 13 years.
Those sentences followed a referendum on Catalan independence that took place in October 2017 that was deemed to be unofficial by Spanish authorities.
Clashes between the public and police followed that vote, with Barca forced to play their Liga match against Las Palmas behind closed doors.
Similar clashes have taken place in recent days, causing Barcelona’s airport to be closed down at certain times while cars have been set on fire in the streets.
Given Real Madrid’s historical links to the Spanish government, sections of their own fans showing support for a united Spain and the size of the match itself, the decision was then taken that it would be too much of a security risk to play the game at Camp Nou at this time.
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