By 90Min
April 19, 2018

La Liga president Javier Tebas has stated that whistling the Spanish national anthem should be looked at in the same light as anti-Catalonia chants, and believes it is not similar to whistling an individual player, ahead of the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

Barcelona will play Sevilla at the weekend and it has been predicted that the anthem could be disrupted, as has happened in previous finals Ernesto Valverde's side have participated in.

Tebas said, as quoted by Marca"Yes, it would be verbal violence to whistle the anthem.

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"If the chant 'Puta Catalunya' has been denounced in many stadiums across Spain, for me verbal violence is whistling the anthem."

Barcelona have reportedly commented on the whistles that have previously occurred but the club's leaders are also known to respect their fans' freedom of expression.

Tebas added: "Will they ask if 'Puta Catalunya' is freedom of expression? I think it's not freedom of speech.

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"To insult is to disrespect millions of Spaniards and Catalans who have respect for the flag."

"You have to consider the context and the environment," he said, when asked whether whistling a player is the same.

"It is not the same as whistling a flag or head of state when whistling a player in a sporting context."

The Spanish FA have also prohibited independence flags from Saturday's final at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Tebas adding: "If they have not been banned by the government a few years ago, they should be allowed like they are in the Camp Nou. If there are no rules, there is no need to prohibit them."

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