This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Here’s another “you’ve got to see it to believe it”. Now, on occasion, we’ve come across prohibitions on spectators against waving the ikurriña at sporting events, like the 2012 Olympic Games, or at music events, like Eurovision 2016, which, given their absurdity, are usually quickly lifted, but not before causing a huge controversy.
What we never would have imagined is that the flag that was banned would be the Spanish flag if it has “Bilbao” written on it.
But that’s what’s happened in Romania at the Eurobasket championship game between Spain and Montenegro. A group of fans of the Spanish team attended that match, each with their own flag, with the name of some cities written on them.
The person whose flag had “Bilbao” written on it was not allowed to enter the stadium with it by security, alleging that there could be no allusions to the Basque Country or Catalonia. Nevertheless, the flags with names like “Salamanca” or “Valladolid” had no trouble getting into the stadium, and those flags did not end up in the trash.
The situation was worrisome enough that the Portuguese daily in which we found this article, the Diario de Noticias (which was referencing an article in the Spanish daily El Mundo) made it sound like the flags that had been banned were the ones of the Basque Country and Catalonia. Of course, it was actually a Spanish flag that was prohibited, because it made reference to a Basque city.
What’s clear is that, be it because of excess zeal or specific instructions to prohibit any reference to anything Basque (even the names of their towns), the security at the Polyvalent Arena of Cluj did not let that flag pass.
It seems they understood how strange it is to see “Bilbao” on a Spanish flag, something was definitely off about that; enough so to block its entry, while other flags that had “good” cities written on them, or the silhouette of a bull, were allowed to pass.
Really, their instinct didn’t fail them–it was really, really, really weird.
Diario de Noticias – 1/9/2017 – Portugal
Bandeiras do País Basco e da Catalunha proibidas no Eurobasket
O Eurobasket, maior competição europeia de seleções de basquetebol, arrancou na passada quinta-feira e está já envolto em polémica. A realizar-se na Turquia, Finlândia, Israel e Roménia, foi precisamente neste país que alguns adeptos espanhóis se viram envolvidos numa situação mais desagradável.