The first Clasico of this season, initially scheduled to take place next weekend, has been postponed. The Royal Spanish Football Federation have confirmed this decision after recent unfolding in Catalonia.
The first of two league Clasicos was set to be played at Camp Nou, Barcelona's home ground. However, due to unrest in the Catalan region, the game will not be played on October 26 as initially planned.
This decision stems from security and political concerns. Tension has hit a new high after the Spanish Supreme Court's sentencing of key members of the Catalan independence movement. Clashes between protesters and security forces have since broken out and there are fears this would have spilled over into Barcelona's clash with Real Madrid, a club seen as the symbol of Spain.
There were also concerns that this game, which reaches around 650 million people globally, could be used as a stage for a pro-independence protest. As a result, fans will now have to wait almost two more months before the two biggest teams in Europe lock horns.
Several options were considered, one of which was moving the game to Santiago Bernabeu. However, neither sides were open to the idea of swapping venues, especially the reigning Spanish Primera Division champions, as they would have to play three away games in a row including Wednesday's Champions League trip to Slavia Praha.
Two dates have been proposed, one of which is December 18. However, that means the game would be played on a Wednesday instead of a weekend, which is highly unlikely. December 7 is another option, but the Blaugrana's clash with Mallorca and Los Blancos' showdown with Espanyol would have to be rescheduled. The two clubs and La Liga are expected to agree on a new date by next Monday.