Minutes before the game between Barça and Las Palmas this Sunday the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, explained the reasons for which the decision to play the game without spectators had been taken: “We did it to highlight the lack of freedom we are experiencing in Catalonia. It’s an image for the entire world.”
Press from around the world reported the decision on Monday. Paper and digital versions from all continents and all types of media highlighted the image of an empty Camp Nou with the game being played: The Guardian, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Die Welt, La Repubblica, Le Monde, The Telegraph and Globoesporte are just a few of the examples. More than 300 news stories have been counted amongst the leading press outlets around the world, all talking about the initiative carried out by FC Barcelona.
The sight of an empty stadium caused an impression around the world from the very first moment that it was announced that the game would be played in front of an empty stadium. During the two hours of the game, Google searches for the term ‘Camp Nou’ increased by 1,300% with regards to the hours leading up to the game.
In the majority of cases the searches were linked to the word ‘empty’ in various languages, in order to find out why FC Barcelona had taken this decision.
Also on Twitter, the name of the stadium became a trending topic around the world, only being beaten by the hashtag #CatalanReferendum.