Clasico overshadowed by Barcelona referee corruption charge

By Daily Sports Nigeria on March 18, 2923

Spain’s Clasico is one of the world’s biggest sporting occasions, pitting giants Barcelona and Real Madrid head-to-head, but the build-up to Sunday’s La Liga clash has been overshadowed by “Caso Negreira”.

Barca have been charged with corruption by Spanish prosecutors for payments between 2001 and 2018 to the company of former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, totalling around 7.3 million euros ($7.8 million).

The club say they were paying for reports and advice on refereeing but prosecutors have accused the club of seeking to gain favourable decision-making from officials.

Charges were filed last week against Barcelona, former vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee (CTA), Negreira, and two former Barcelona presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, among others.

Although La Liga leaders Barcelona can virtually clinch the title if they beat second-place Real Madrid on Sunday to move 12 points clear, headlines remain dominated by the Negreira case, with tensions rising around Spain.

In the first round of fixtures after Barcelona were charged last weekend, at various stadiums there was a form of protest against the supposed  corruption scandal.

It was clearest in the Basque country, where Xavi Hernandez’s side faced Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Supporters threw mock money onto the pitch with “mafia” printed on it, along with Barcelona’s club emblem.

“I was surprised at the hostile atmosphere towards Barca, it was sad to see,” said Xavi after his team’s narrow 1-0 win.

“(Barca) are being judged prematurely, which I don’t think is good for society.”

After Barcelona’s payments to Negreira’s company were unearthed in February, the club responded quickly and denied any wrongdoing.

President Joan Laporta said the club had ordered an external investigation and would provide answers as quickly as they could.

However, they have not scheduled a news conference to answer questions on the issue and their silence has been criticised by La Liga president Javier Tebas.

“Yes (It’s the worst moment) that I remember,” Tebas told Movistar channel Vamos on Tuesday.

“The problem that we have is the worst. There are payments recognised by Barcelona to the vice-president of the CTA, that’s something abnormal.

“It’s understandable that tension is generated. The reputation of our football is at stake. I am ashamed. We have no explanation from Barcelona.”

– Playing the victim –

Laporta did speak at a lunch event with the Equestrian Circle in Barcelona and said there was a “campaign” to damage Barcelona’s interests.

“Let it be clear Barca have never bought referees and Barca have never had the intention of buying referees, absolutely never,” said the president.

Some, including Tebas, have criticised Laporta and Barcelona for playing the victim.

Last Sunday Real Madrid joined the proceedings against Barca as an “injured party”, along with the CTA, Spanish football federation, La Liga and Spain’s national sports council.

Barcelona will not host the traditional directors lunch with Real Madrid and their president Florentino Perez ahead of the Clasico as a result, according to Spanish reports.

After a period of relatively friendly relations between the two clubs — both collaborating on the failed breakaway European Super League plan — it marks a cooling.

However, Perez was under pressure from supporters demanding Madrid take action against Barcelona.

Tebas spoke again on Thursday, saying he did not think Barcelona had “bought referees” but he also said that “hiding is not the way” and the club had to provide full answers.

The league’s president reiterated that no sporting punishment can be handed to Barcelona as the alleged infringements happened too long ago.

Laporta took to social media on Friday to try and turn attention towards the Clasico, asking for the fans’ support more than ever as the club closes in on their first La Liga title since 2019.

“We will defend ourselves and we will attack, but now I want us to concentrate on cheering the team on,” said Laporta.

“We shouldn’t have our attention diverted by other things. Let’s support Barca because we love them.”

Source Punch Ng

Posted March 18, 2023


 

You may also like...
Nigeria Players Union blames clubs for corrupt officiating...

Williams Survives Riske Business to Reach Wimbledon Semis...

NCoS Stages Football Competition For Inmates

Nigeria Vs Brazil: Rohr Explains Why He Chose...

Juventus snatch dramatic win at Chievo on Ronaldo’s...

Breaking: Akpabio elected 10th senate president

 

Latest News Woods gets PGA Tour lifetime achievement exemption McGregor’s injury 'absolutely real' - White Omwuzurike predicts bright future for Nigerian athletics Ronaldo’s Portugal scrape Euro 2024 opening win, Turkey beat Georgia Arsenal ready €100m Osimhen bid Again, Sergio Ramos quits Sevilla Euro 2024: Tedesco frustrated by VAR drama after Belgium shocking loss Germany veteran Neuer to consider future after Euro 2024 Amusan wins fourth national title Adesanya announces Aug 17 title fight with Du Plessis [UPDATED] FULL LIST: English Premier League 2024/2025 Fixtures Announced Euro 2024: Mbappe suffers broken nose

 

Most Read Rangers International going, going . . . (54,109 views) Amaju Pinnick: A cat with nine lives (45,169 views) Second Term: Amaju Pinnick, Other NFF Heavyweights Home to Roost •How Pinnick Broke the Jinx (43,256 views) Missing $150,000 IAAF Grant: Solomon Dalung’s Hide and Seek game (42,893 views) Sports Development: Zenith Bank on the zenith (42,741 views) Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje’s solid footprints, commitment to sports development in Kano State (42,623 views) Current issues in Nigerian sports: Matters arising (42,489 views) NFF Presidency: Pinnick, Maigari, Ogunjobi, Okoye in Battle for Supremacy (41,977 views) Olopade, BET9A wave of revolution in NNL (40,993 views) Commonwealth Games 2018: Shame of Muhammadu Buhari, Solomon Dalung (39,962 views) Ibrahimovic’s Man U exit: Whose decision is it? And in whose interest? (38,378 views) John Mikel Obi: Segun Odegbami’s Outrageous Call! (37,881 views)

 

Phone numbers

Tel: +234(0)8066020976
+234(0)8055068145
+234(0)7013416146
+234(0)8094272884

Email addresses

info@dailysportsng.com
support@dailysportsng.com
publisher@dailysportsng.com

Office address

No 3, Adetoun Close, Off College Road, Ogba, Ikeja Lagos.
Website: www.dailysportsng.com

Social Media