Roller hockey is a very popular sport in Catalonia. Most primary and secondary schools offer the possibility of practicing roller hockey as a school sport, hence its popularity.
Out of the 16 teams that form the OK liga (Spanish premier division), 12 teams are Catalan!
The Catalan Federation encompasses 800 roller hockey teams from under 8's to female and veteran teams. This makes this federation the world's largest in terms of teams participating in its competitions.
What do they players think?
Most players have stepped forward for the recognition of the Catalan national team.
Players like Ivan Tibau, actual captain of the Catalan team and former Spanish captain, have strongly defended the Catalan team. Mysteriously, Ivan Tibau was ruled off the Spanish team after publicly admitting his preference to play for the Catalans.
Sergi Panadero, FC Barcelona and spanish national team player, admits this is a dream come true, and that he personally will choose to play for the Catalans. However, Panadero like most players, is worried about the consequences of his decision.
Basically, most players feel they are being blackmailed by the Spanish institutions, since they know that if they admit they want to play for Catalonia and the FIRS doesn't finally admit the Catalans, they might end up without being able to play international competitions.