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SPAIN: Sports and Politics

We are used to international soccer matches resulting in violence. National matches can likewise exacerbate bad feelings between regions and cities. From England, Ian Hilton reports:

"A classic example of the interplay of sport and politics was provided last weekend in Spain, when Real Madrid played Barcelona. The political overtones were self-evident. The game ended in a draw, 2-2, which might seem a satisfactory diplomatic solution, but Barcelona bitterly complained that a third goal for them (which apparently from multiple camera angles looked legitimate) was denied them by the referee. Dark mutterings to the effect that Barcelona were never meant to take the league title this year (almost needless to say, the league is headed by Real Madrid)".

Ronald Hilton - 3/6/01