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Court rules Catalan “estelada” can be displayed at King’s Cup final

Government ban on pro-independence flag at soccer match now in doubt

Soccer fans display the estelada at a recent match.
Soccer fans display the estelada at a recent match.

A Madrid court has weighed into the row over the presence of esteladas – the flag adopted by supporters of Catalan independence – by ruling that fans at the final of the Kings Cup between Barcelona and Sevilla, to be hedl on Sunday in the Spanish capital, can display the distinctive red and yellow striped banner.

The decision, made on Friday afternoon, goes against a ban issued by the central government’s delegation in the Madrid regional administration. The Madrid court partially backed an appeal brought by a Catalan law firm, but rejected a demand that a new order be issued by the government’s delegate, Concepción Dancausa, expressly stating that the estelada is not subject to legislation that forbids the display of flags that incite violence or hatred.

“It has not been proved that displaying the so-called estelada could incite violence, racism, xenophobia or any other form of discrimination,” reads the court’s decision.

State prosecutors said on Friday that they are in favor of maintaining the ban. The head of the regional government of Catalonia, as well as the mayors of Barcelona and Madrid, have said they will not attend the match if the ban on the estelada is upheld.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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