Barcelona condemn Spanish crackdown on Catalonia independence vote
Barcelona have announced the club will "continue to support the will of the majority of the Catalan people" amid growing tensions related to a banned independence vote in the region.
Spain's Guardia Civil police detained 12 senior officials and raided three Catalan regional government offices on Wednesday.
The national government and Spain's constitutional court have both said a referendum on Catalan independence due to take place on October 1 is illegal and should not go ahead.
There was no such action taken by the Spanish government before the last referendum in November 2014, however, this time Catalan leaders have revealed that they will declare independence within 48 hours of the final result if there is a majority 'Yes' vote.
Wednesday's raids came a day after 45,000 envelopes donning logos of the Catalan government were seized in the town of Terrassa, and Barcelona have now issued a statement in support of the democratic rights of the people of Catalonia.
The statement read: "In the wake of the events that have transpired in recent days and, especially today [Wednesday], with regard to the current political situation in Catalonia, FC Barcelona, in remaining faithful to its historic commitment to the defence of the nation, to democracy, to freedom of speech, and to self-determination, condemns any act that may impede the free exercise of these rights.
"Therefore, FC Barcelona publicly expresses its support for all people, entities, and institutions that work to guarantee these rights.
"FC Barcelona, in holding the utmost respect for its diverse body of members, will continue to support the will of the majority of Catalan people, and will do so in a civil, peaceful, and exemplary way."