Football and politics clash in Cataluña capital

PM candidate defies Barcelona mayor over public screening of Euro 2016 match

Albert Rivera and other fans watching the Spain-Turkey match on a big screen at Barcelona's Arc de Triomf (Photo: EFE)

FOOTBALL and politics clashed in Barcelona at the end of last week following the city’s mayor’s refusal to erect giant screens in the streets to show Spain’s Euro 2016 match with Turkey on Friday. Leftist mayor Ada Colau raised hackles when she announced that the city would not screen any matches in public until the quarter finals, allegedly for reasons of public order.

However, she did not count on prime minister candidate Albert Rivera, who is not only leader of the centrist Ciudadanos party but comes from Barcelona and is an ardent supporter of Spain’s national team. Early on Friday evening, he held a rally in front of Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf with permission to erect a huge screen and sound system for campaigning purposes, but announced that after the politics, the screen would show the Spain fixture.

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