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Josep Maria Bartomeu poses with the Washington Monument in the background. / MIGUEL RUIZ

[[DES_1]]The president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, spoke to The Washington Post following UEFA's announcement of a $33,000 fine for the Club stemming from the appearance of pro-Catalan independence flags at the Champions League final in Berlin on 6 June.

Here's what Bartomeu told the Post:

"FC Barcelona has always defended, and will always defend, freedom of speech."

"Futbol Club Barcelona has never banned its members or fans from expressing their thoughts and feelings in a peaceful manner in our stadium or when supporting our team when they travel."

"FC Barcelona disagrees with the ruling will ask for the case to be reviewed."

"We are fully convinced that the rights of our members are untouchable and should not be given a political connotation."

"We remain supportive of our members and the spirit of freedom in which this club has relied since its foundation 115 years ago."

Interview with Barça TV

The blaugrana president has also given an interview to the Club's official television channel, Barça TV in which he outlined the objectives for FC Barcelona this season: "We know it is difficult but we have to try to win everything. We have put together a team to win six competitions." President Bartomeu explained that the arrival of Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan, as well as the promotion of Sandro and Munir to the first team has raised "a little bit the competitive edge" of the squad. Another new arrival, first team technical secretary Robert Fernández, is described as "an honest man, relaxed, who has a very clear idea of Barça's concept of football." Finally, on the subject of the recent fine from UEFA with regards to the Champions League final the president was clear: "It is an unfair fine. We have appealed and we will do so again until we reach the end."


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