Barcelona fans wave the Catalan flag during a match.
Fans wave "Estelada" flags, a symbol of Catalonian pro-independence, during a Spanish first division soccer match between Barcelona and Las Palmas at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, September 26, 2015. Reuters/Sergio Perez

Barcelona will not play in Ligue 1, former club president Joan Laporta said a day after France Prime Minister Manuel Valls claimed he would happily reach out to the Catalan club if they were to be expelled from La Liga-- Spain’s top-flight football division.

The Catalonia region in Spain has a population of around 7.5 million and is set for a referendum to decide whether the people want the region to remain as a part of Spain or break away to become an independent state. The referendum has been called illegal by the Spanish government.

Although unlikely in the near future, an independent Catalonia would see Spain lose control over all major institutions in the region. Spanish laws and courts would not hold any authority in the region and that would apply to the sporting arena as well.

A separate state of Catalonia would see Barcelona kicked out of La Liga and instead play in a new regional league with teams belonging only to that particular region. That would apparently lead to a major loss of revenue as Barcelona is the only major club in the region and would be guaranteed to win almost every match. They would also lose major sponsorship and TV rights revenue, having no major fixture in the league unlike La Liga.

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta however ruled out a move to Ligue 1, claiming Barcelona was too important for La Liga. "I don't think so because the Spanish league is very interesting with Barcelona and Real Madrid," Laporta told French radio station RMC.

"The Clasico is of great value to La Liga and I think all of us will be very intelligent together in order to maintain the status quo of the Iberian league between the states of Catalonia and Spain. With humility, I'd say that Barca are too strong and if the Spanish league don't want Barca I think we will be able to play in several nearby leagues like the French, the Italian or the Premier League,” Laporta added.

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