Athletic Club enjoyed a comfortable win on Saturday, putting Cadiz to the sword by three goals to nil, much to the delight of the San Mames around them. It wasn’t the only thing they did to appease the fans either.
Ahead of the La Liga matches over the past weekend, teams posed with their EAFC24 ultimate team cards before kick-off, and Athletic were amongst them. However according to Marca, Athletic specially requested that their cards did not have a flag on them.
— Football España (@footballespana_) September 19, 2023
Fearing this would play poorly with the Basque crowd, Athletic Club took 10 Spain flags and one Ghanaian (Inaki Williams) flags off their logo cards.
Athletic, located in Bilbao, are from the autonomous region of the Basque Country, where there remains plenty of anti-Spanish feeling following years of cultural attacks under former dictator Francisco Franco. It would be rare to see a Spanish flag at San Mames, rather the Basque ‘Ikurrina’ is much more popular.