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Pique whistled at Spain open training session

7:14 PM GMT 02/10/2017
gerard pique - cropped
Tensions ran high at Spain's training camp as Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, a Catalan independence advocate, was jeered.

Gerard Pique was whistled by fans when the Barcelona defender took part in a Spain training session on Monday, as political tensions in the country continue to spill into sport.

Barca played out a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas at an empty Camp Nou on Sunday, amid unrest in the region surrounding Catalonia's independence referendum.

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu made the call to keep supporters at the gates after La Liga refused to sanction a postponement, describing his decision as a "rejection of what has been experienced", while the stadium scoreboard bore the message "Democracia", featuring an illustration of a ballot box.

Pique has been vocal in his support of Catalonia's attempts to secede from Spain, prompting a backlash from those who fall on the other side of the argument.

Vídeo 360°: así reaccionó el público cuando Piqué saltó a entrenar con la selección española. "España es tu nación". 360° video: that's how the fans in Madrid reacted when Piqué started the training session with Spain. "This is your nation".

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The 30-year-old, who has won the World Cup and European Championship, even offered to retire from international duty if coach Julen Lopetegui considered his presence a "problem".

And tensions ran high in the capital Madrid as Pique's entrance to the pitch was jeered, while some in attendance lifted banners with inflammatory messages towards the defender.