Spain’s Clasico is likely one of the world’s greatest sporting events, pitting giants Barcelona and Real Madrid head-to-head, however the build-up to Sunday’s La Liga conflict has been overshadowed by “Caso Negreira”.
Barca have been charged with corruption by Spanish prosecutors for funds between 2001 and 2018 to the corporate of former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, totalling round 7.3 million euros ($7.8 million).
The membership say they had been paying for experiences and recommendation on refereeing however prosecutors have accused the membership of in search of to realize beneficial decision-making from officers.
Charges had been filed final week towards Barcelona, former vp of Spain’s refereeing committee (CTA), Negreira, and two former Barcelona presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, amongst others.
Although La Liga leaders Barcelona can just about clinch the title in the event that they beat second-place Real Madrid on Sunday to maneuver 12 factors clear, headlines stay dominated by the Negreira case, with tensions rising round Spain.
In the primary spherical of fixtures after Barcelona had been charged final weekend, at varied stadiums there was a type of protest towards the supposed corruption scandal.
It was clearest within the Basque nation, the place Xavi Hernandez’s facet confronted Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Supporters threw mock cash onto the pitch with “mafia” printed on it, together with Barcelona’s membership emblem.
“I was surprised at the hostile atmosphere towards Barca, it was sad to see,” stated Xavi after his crew’s slim 1-0 win.
“(Barca) are being judged prematurely, which I don’t think is good for society.”
After Barcelona’s funds to Negreira’s firm had been unearthed in February, the membership responded rapidly and denied any wrongdoing.
President Joan Laporta stated the membership had ordered an exterior investigation and would supply solutions as rapidly as they might.
However, they haven’t scheduled a information convention to reply questions on the difficulty and their silence has been criticised by La Liga president Javier Tebas.
“Yes (It’s the worst moment) that I remember,” Tebas instructed Movistar channel Vamos on Tuesday.
“The drawback that we now have is the worst. There are funds recognised by Barcelona to the vice-president of the CTA, that’s one thing irregular.
“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 sufferer –
Laporta did communicate at a lunch occasion with the Equestrian Circle in Barcelona and stated there was a “campaign” to break Barcelona’s pursuits.
“Let it be clear Barca have never bought referees and Barca have never had the intention of buying referees, absolutely never,” stated the president.
Some, together with Tebas, have criticised Laporta and Barcelona for taking part in the sufferer.
Last Sunday Real Madrid joined the proceedings towards Barca as an “injured party”, together with the CTA, Spanish soccer federation, La Liga and Spain’s nationwide sports activities council.
Barcelona won’t host the normal administrators lunch with Real Madrid and their president Florentino Perez forward of the Clasico in consequence, in line with Spanish experiences.
After a interval of comparatively pleasant relations between the 2 golf equipment — each collaborating on the failed breakaway European Super League plan — it marks a cooling.
However, Perez was underneath stress from supporters demanding Madrid take motion towards Barcelona.
Tebas spoke once more on Thursday, saying he didn’t suppose Barcelona had “bought referees” however he additionally stated that “hiding is not the way” and the membership had to supply full solutions.
The league’s president reiterated that no sporting punishment may be handed to Barcelona because the alleged infringements occurred too way back.
Laporta took to social media on Friday to try to flip consideration in the direction of the Clasico, asking for the followers’ help greater than ever because the membership 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,” stated Laporta.
“We shouldn’t have our attention diverted by other things. Let’s support Barca because we love them.”
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