Barcelona fans whistle Spanish anthem amidst flag row

Sections of supporters of Catalan giants Barcelona whistled the Spanish national anthem at the Copa del Rey final in Madrid on Sunday, just days after authorities tried to ban Catalan seperatist flags from the match. An initial ban on the “Estelada” flag was lifted on appeal after a judge concluded it could not be proven to “incite violence, racism, xenophobia or any other form of discrimination” as had been claimed by Community of Madrid authorities. The controversy over the flag ban dominated headlines in Spain just five weeks before a repeat general election in which the ruling conservative Popular Party is once again presenting itself as the best guarantor of national unity.

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