Barcelona VP Carles Vilarrubi Resigns After Decision to Play Las Palmas Match

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2017

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 05:  A club crest is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 5, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubi resigned from the position after the club decided to play Las Palmas behind closed doors on Sunday, the same day as the vote on Catalonia's independence referendum.

The club released a statement via its official website that condemned the actions of the Spanish government and police in preventing some from voting in the referendum, and ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan later reported Vilarrubi's departure:

BBC Sport provided further detail on the clashes and protests that occurred in Catalonia, adding that "Sunday's match went ahead only after Spanish league chiefs refused to postpone it."

Barca's statement said the decision to play the fixture behind closed doors was undertaken because of the "exceptional nature of events," per the Press Association:

Vilarrubi's official Barcelona bio detailed his position as vice-president "in charge of the club's area of institutional and international relations." The 63-year-old isn't likely to be the only Barca board member who takes umbrage with Sunday's events.

BBC Sport reported the Spanish police made use of batons and rubber bullets against protesters, which left at least 337 people injured, per figures reported by Catalan emergency services.

Guardian political columnist Owen Jones tweeted video of firefighters attempting to protect voters, although even they were "beat up" by police:

Vilarrubi's resignation prior to Sunday's closed-off encounter stands as a statement against the way in which Sunday's events were handled, with Catalan's greatest sport powerhouse playing some part in the political script.