I want to focus on sport - Valverde sidesteps independence discussion

Ernesto Valverde batted away questions on Barcelona's future in LaLiga coming under threat after Catalonia declared independence from Spain on Friday.

Catalan MPs backed a motion to secede from Spain 70-10 after a controversial referendum delivered an outcome overwhelmingly in favour of a split earlier this month.

Spain's Constitutional Court declared that vote illegal and the Senate announced on Friday, shortly after Catalonia's declaration, that measures had been approved for the imposition of direct rule over the region. 

Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona are the three Catalan clubs that compete in LaLiga, but LFP president Javier Tebas has remained steadfast that they would not be able to participate should the region secede.

Real Madrid's trip to Girona this weekend has been thrown into doubt, although the Catalan club insist the game will go ahead, while Valverde was given an off-field topic to discuss ahead of Saturday's trip to face his former club Athletic Bilbao.

"It has been a busy day," he told a news conference, speaking after the declaration of independence had been made.

"Everyone has their responsibility. Mine is to try to get my team to win.

"It still has not happened [Barca being removed from LaLiga]. We are talking about an assumption. I follow what is happening here, I have my own opinions, which I will keep to myself. I want to focus on sports.

"A league without Barca? The only thing I know is that tomorrow we have a league game, which we will try to win."

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