Why can't Catalonia and Spain play like Scotland and England? In this new edition of the Euro Cup, the Scots and the English competed in the derby between the oldest teams in the history of football. The antiquity of the confrontation, however, cannot and should not overlap with the theme that connects (or disconnects) the two countries.
Recently, parliamentary elections Scottish women won the independence bloc, led by Nicola Sturgeon. According to the Scottish leader, her legislature will commit to carrying out a new independence referendum, preferably negotiated with Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Logically, the mission will not be easy, and it reserves some questions and comparisons between the possible answers of the leader of the British government and the leader of the Spanish government in 2017, Mariano Rajoy. That year, the Spanish response against the self-determination referendum in Catalonia was far from what we know as democracy.
More than explaining the reasons why Scotland and Catalonia seek their independence (in relation to the Catalan part, you have access to several news published on this portal), and more than showing a positioning for or against Catalan independence, the purpose of this editorial publication is to expose and explain the following fact: Catalonia cannot play official football matches, although it has its own Football Federation and a national team, where some of the world's most renowned players of this century have recently passed through, such as Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué e Carles Puyol.
One nation, one team… and no official game
As you can see in the image in this publication, the banner with the message “One nation, one team” is a classic in friendly matches played by Catalonia. The last one happened in 2019, against the Venezuela, which ended with victory of the catalans. In the list of games played by the Catalan national team, there are teams like the Brazil and Argentina. Against the Argentines, Catalonia got a expressive victory by 4-2, on December 22, 2009. That year, the Catalan team was led by former Barcelona coach, Johan Cruyff. Argentina, in turn, had as a coach Diego Maradona. Against the Brazilians, Catalonia was defeated in the last two matches, both played at Camp Nou.
Worth reading: When Catalonia faced Ronaldinho Gaúcho's Brazil in 2002
The “One Nation, One Selection” campaign was launched in December 2005 by the president of the Pro Selections platform, Xavier Vinyals. As reported by the portal La Vanguardia, the campaign launch event had the participation, among others, of the president of Barcelona (Joan Laporta), of former players Oleguer Fangs (who played for the right side of the team with the Brazilian Belletti) is Hristo Stoichkov, and the actor joel joel.
If the Catalonia, as well as the Basque Country and Balearic Islands, is nation (from a cultural-historical point of view), and has a football team made up of players from different clubs, in addition to a own federation, why can't you, for example, play in a European tournament against teams like Spain, Italy and Germany? The reason is simple: the Spanish Football Federation does not authorize Catalonia to play official matches. Therefore, the Catalan soccer team is not recognized by international organizations in this sport.
A clear example of this ban was demonstrated in 2007. As the daily reports El Periodico, the Spanish Football Federation prevented the Catalonia team from playing a friendly against the United States in the month of October of that year. Pay attention: a friendly, not an official match. According to a spokesman for the Spanish organization, "the ban was not politically or nationally motivated, but because these kind of friendly matches are played in December, not October." In turn, the General Secretary for Sports of the Government of Catalonia, Anna Pruna, said that the federal officials of the United States "wanted the game to be played“, and that they “didn't understand anything” about what was going on. However, on the part of the Americans, although there was a desire to play the friendly against Catalonia, they would only play with a Spanish authorization, which did not exist.
For whatever reasons, the truth is that the current political situation in Catalonia prevents Catalans from playing in a Euro Cup or World Cup. In 2013, the coach of Cape Verde, whose team played a friendly against Catalonia in December of that year (Catalan victory 4-1), stated that the Catalans “could compete against any country, because the Catalan national team had 'many' of the best players in the world”. For the coach, Catalonia “could fight without problems for European and world titles”. In fact, in the match against Cape Verde, the Catalan national team took to the field with these players: Kiko Casilla (Codina, 45′), bartra (Montoya 45′), Piqué (Capdevila, 45′), Marc Valiente (Uri Rossell, 67′), Sergio Busquets (Víctor Álvarez, 45′), Víctor Sánchez (David López, 45′), Cesc Fàbregas (Sergi Roberto, 45′), Bojan (Aleix Vidal, 45′), Piti (Xumetra, 45′), Sergio Garcia (Oriol Riera, 45′) and Jordi Alba (Tello, 45′). Of all these players, ten had played, played or would play for FC Barcelona's first team, and had played at least one match for the Spanish national team. One detail: on this list, they were left out Carles Puyol (who retired the following year), Xavi Hernandez and the goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
How many sports does Catalonia officially compete in?
Although football can be considered the main sport in Catalonia, thanks mainly to FC Barcelona, the sport is practiced in different ways by the Catalans. According to information published by the Pro Seleccions platform, Catalonia has official representation in 21 sportsSuch as indoor soccer. More than having this type of representation, Catalonia competes and wins tournaments, such as the ones in roller hockey.
The dependency relations between Catalonia and Spain differ from the relations between Scotland and England. Different causes, different political configurations, similar political resolution proposals, astronomically opposite responses. The differences define, for example, that Scotland can travel around the world to play official tournaments. THE Catalonia, in turn, must be content with friendly matches (played once a year, and with an uncertain schedule) and with the matches of the Spanish national team.
It's not the role of the portal Aqui Catalunha defend or be against Catalan independence, or opine on a political reconfiguration in the Spanish State. It is not our role, as we are limited to inform about Catalan news, which is very wide and pleasant to spread, and with a extremely high level of journalistic rigor. We work with facts, whether pleasant or unpleasant. This is how freedom of information should be exercised. Through facts, readers will be able to use the information and their intelligence to draw their conclusions about what is best for Catalonia.
One of those facts is that Catalonia's current political configuration does not allow their team to play like Scotland. It is possible that many people say that “football is not that important”. In some ways, the statement is correct. The other fact, which we can consider of great relevance, is that the current political configuration in Catalonia does not allow the Catalan language is officially recognized in the European Union. The lack of this kind of recognition is imbued with a series of linguistic prejudices, and constitutes a threat to the linguistic (and cultural) heritage of national minorities.
Worth reading: UN report recognizes Catalans as national minority