Real Madrid President Boycotts El Clasico Amid Tense Atmosphere After 20 Years

According to Agence France Presse, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez decided not to go to Spotify Camp Nou this Sunday evening to keep an eye on Clasico against traditional rivals Barcelona.

And Agence France Presse, citing a source at Barcelona’s host club, said that the traditional lunch that brings together the administrators of the two clubs before the match was also canceled due to the tense atmosphere between the two sides. after prosecutors charged the Catalan club with corruption charges related to payments of more than 7.3 million euros to his company. Former arbitrator.

Barcelona responded to the allegations by saying it paid José María Enriquez Negrera, a former referee and former vice president of the local game federation’s arbitration committee between 1994 and 2018, to receive reports and advice related to arbitration.

Real Madrid said last week that he would appear in the case as the “injured party” and would defend his interests after the procedures were continued.

The Spanish newspaper AC pointed out that the absence of Florentino Pérez (76) would be his first in the Clasico against Catalan rivals 20 years ago.

Barcelona President Joan Laporta confirmed that he would defend his team from “attacks”, adding: “I really want to stand up to all the bad guys who tarnish our badge” and “There are violent attacks that sully our club’s badge that have nothing to do with reality.”

“You can be sure that the board of directors, of which I have the honor of chairman, will protect him with all his might,” he stressed.

And Spanish newspaper El Pais reported last Monday that former Barcelona coaches Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde would be called as witnesses in the trial.

In addition to the club and Negrera’s former referee, two former club presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, faced the same accusation of corruption.

At a sporting level, Barcelona are not in immediate danger as the governing bodies of Spanish, European and world football have a five-year statute of limitations, La Liga president Javier Tebas said on Monday. past.

But at the criminal level, the defendant could face up to four years in prison, while Barcelona faces a “suspension” and “complete dissolution of the company,” according to Alberto Palomar, a Carlos III law professor. university in Madrid, according to AFP.

Source: AFP.

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