Language row threatens Catalan with red card

24th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2004, BARCELONA – An amateur footballer was threatened with being sent off if he did not stop speaking Catalan, it was reported Tuesday.

24 February 2004

BARCELONA – An amateur footballer was threatened with being sent off if he did not stop speaking Catalan, it was reported Tuesday.

The incident happened in Alicante, in south-east Spain, during a match between Mataró and Hércules.

The referee threatened to send off a Mataró player if he continued speaking in Catalan.

The incident sparked a political row Tuesday as Catalan is the official language of  Catalonia but does not have the same standing in other parts of the country.

Jordi Martí, spokesman of the conservative nationalist Catalan party CiU, called for all four languages in Spain to have equal standing.

Martí considered the referee’s decision worrying and asked the Catalan Football Federation to seek an explanation from the Spanish Football Federation.

He also wants intervention by the Referees' Committee and the High Council for Sport to ensure this incident is not dismissed as a mere trifle.

Clearly angered by the case, Martí also pointed out that the incident may be related to the fact that the Spanish Football Federation recently referred to the Catalan Federation as one of its regional delegations.

In a separate incident, a businessman in Barcelona was fined EUR 600 in January for failing to mark labels in Catalan as well as Spanish.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
                                                  Subject: Spanish news

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