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Barcelona Captain Condemns Derby Violence
    2008-09-30 20:51:47     Xinhua

Captain of FC Barcelona Carles Puyol spoke on Tuesday to condemn the violence that occurred during Saturday's derby clash against city rivals Espanyol.

The match, which Barca won 2-1, had to be stopped for 10 minutes in the second half, after members of Barcelona's radical fans -- the Boixos Nois -- threw flares down from the upper tiers of the stands at Espanyol's Montjuic Stadium onto Espanyol supporters watching the game below them.

Several Barcelona players annoyed their rivals when they then went to celebrate their team's two goals with the very fans who had caused the problems. Some players, including Samuel Eto'o, then applauded the fans as they made their way to the team bus 20 minutes after the end of the game.

Along with coach Pep Guardiola, Puyol made a point of not acknowledging the presence of the radical supporters and he backed up his actions with words.

"The players are 100 percent against violence. If anyone has always shown themselves to be against it, it is us," he said on the club website.

"Barca is not represented by those people and I apologize if the celebrations could have upset anyone," said Puyol.

However, although the Barca captain criticized those supporters who had caused the violence in Montjuic, he defended his teammates who had celebrated their goals with them.

"At the moment you have scored a goal, your heart is beating at 180 beats a minute because you have scored a goal and all we wanted to do was celebrate with our supporters."

"At no time was it our aim to celebrate with the violent ones, the minority who threw the flares. We do not feel we are represented by the three or four people who were doing that," said Puyol.

Police in Barcelona have since arrested five people in relation with the incidents.



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