Catalan secession threatens Spain’s golden age for sports

FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 file photo, Spain’s Gerard Pique smiles during the team warm up before their World Cup Group G qualifying soccer match against Albania at the Rico Perez stadium in Alicante, Spain. Catalonia’s audacious attempt to secede from the rest of Spain represents a threat to one of the world’s sporting powers. Catalans have played a key part in establishing Spain as one of the best national soccer teams. The team has qualified for the World Cup in Russia relying on defender Gerard Pique, holding midfielder Sergio Busquets, and left back Jordi Alba. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz, file)

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