CANDIDATE for the Barcelona FC Presidential position has caused a stir by suggesting that the Spanish National Football team should not be allowed to play at Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium.
Joan Laporta made his pro-independence leanings clear in a statement to Spanish sports outlet, Marca, when asked about the state of Spanish Football.
Speaking on RFEF president Luis Rubiales, he said: “He is a smart man, he knows that the best thing for the national team is to play where they have more support, such as Sevilla, Valencia , Madrid…and perhaps here is not the most appropriate place.
“For the Spanish team not to play at the Camp Nou is the best decision because the situation does not meet the most positive conditions for them to do so.”
Laporta is no stranger to politics and football. He ran as an MP in parliament between 2010 and 2012 and served as Barcelona FC’s club president between 2003 and 2010.
He is hailed as a saviour of Catalan football, working alongside Pep Guardiola and turning Barcelona into one of the greatest teams in club football.
Laporta is also a strong advocate of Catalan independence, and has been accused of mixing his own political agenda with the game.
He has been a long standing member of the Catalan Independence Party and was part of The Catalan Solidarity for Independence movement between 1996 and 2011.
He also has links with pro-Franco groups after his brother-in-law was found to be linked with the Francisco Franco Foundation, working as a security detail on the board of directors.