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Joan Laporta denies any Barcelona wrongdoing after corruption claims in impassioned speech and aims digs at Real Madrid

Joan Laporta denies any Barcelona wrongdoing after corruption claims in impassioned speech and aims digs at Real Madrid

Laporta has come out swinging to deny that Barcelona have been paying off referees, and claimed it's Real who get favourable decisions.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has denied his team paid off any referees, and gone in on rivals Real Madrid, as they face corruption charges.

Last month, the Spanish league leaders were charged over payments made to the vice-president of Spanish football refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

They denied any wrongdoing but it inevitably led to rivals Real Madrid saying they would take legal action against the Catalan giants.

Such were the severity of their alleged actions, that there were claims that, if found guilty, they could get relegated from La Liga and down into the second tier.

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Now in an extraordinary press conference, Barca chief Laporta has denied that the club have done anything wrong and dragged Real into it.

The 60-year-old even claimed that the side from the Spanish capital had been favoured by officials for 70 years, suggesting their criticism of his side was hypocritical.

"I already said when the ‘Negreira affair’ came out that it was no coincidence. I have more information and I can now confirm that FC Barcelona has never carried out any action whose purpose or intention is to adulterate the competition in order to gain a sporting advantage," he said of the allegations.

"The tax agency has not been able to demonstrate that the payments made could have affected any result. And they have not been able to demonstrate it because it was not possible.

"...This sum of money was paid over 17 years and it’s important to put things in context and the studies were carried out over a long time.

"The person who mainly offered these services was Negreira’s son. Negreira had zero ability to select match officials or influence the outcome of games.

"These hypotheses that Negreira could swing games is totally false."

Laporta hit back at the claims. Image: Alamy
Laporta hit back at the claims. Image: Alamy

On Real, he added, "Everyone knows that Real Madrid is a club historically favored by refereeing errors, the regime’s club.

"For seven decades the referees’ presidents have been former Madrid members, former players or former directors. Sometimes, all at the same time.

"For 70 years, those who have appointed the referees who had to deliver justice. That this club appears in the best period of our club is an unprecedented exercise in cynicism. Hopefully this trial will expose them."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Real Madrid, Barcelona, La Liga, Spain, Joan Laporta