?Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted that the Clásico will not be postponed again, after the date of the original fixture was moved due to safety concerns.
Real Madrid and Barça were supposed to play at Camp Nou on 26 October, but protests relating to Catalan independence led to the game being rescheduled for 18 December.
The game was again put in doubt earlier this week, when it emerged that a pro-Catalan independence group known as ‘?Tsunami Democratic’ planned to stage a large scale protest during the fixture, which again raised concerns over player safety.
Despite this, Bartomeu insisted that the game would be played during his annual Christmas Speech on Thursday.
“It will be played, the Clásico will be played, it will not be postponed again,” the Barcelona president stated, as reported by ?Mundo Deportivo.
“It is everyone’s responsibility [to ensure the game is played], we know that we are experiencing a complex social and political moment but I am convinced that it is compatible with a football game being played.”
Bartomeu stopped short of condemning Tsunami Democratic – in keeping with the club’s tradition of tacitly supporting the independence cause – but revealed he also hoped any protest would not detract from the football itself.
“Anyone who wants can obviously make their manifestations but in a civic and peaceful way,” he said.
“Our stadium has been and will be a space of free expression and I want to give a message of normalcy.
“We will try to win the sportsmanship and support of the fans and partners to the players. Together we have to make it a sport and civic party.”
Despite Bartomeu assurances that Real are safe to travel, ?El Chiringuito are reporting that the club still harbour significant concerns.
The media outlet is claiming that the ?Los Blancos players will not get off the plane in Barcelona if it does not have guaranteed security.
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