Real Madrid to take action against Barcelona, join legal battle against their rival
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Real Madrid have confirmed that they intend to join the complaint against Barcelona after the Catalan club were charged with corruption.
The current La Liga leaders were charged this week over payments made to the vice-president of Spanish football’s refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.
Enriquez Negreira, who held the position between 1994 and 2018, also faces corruption charges in a case brought by the Spanish public prosecutor's office.
Two former Barcelona presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, also face charges.
Barcelona say they hired an "external consultant" to provide reports "related to professiona refereeing," but the corruption charges suggest that the public prosecutor believes there is foul play involved.
Both Barcelona and Enriquez Negreira deny the charges, but now Real Madrid have announced they will join the complaint against their bitter rivals.
After Real Madrid president Florentino Perez called an emergency board meeting on Sunday, the reigning La Liga champions and Champions League holders released a statement.
"Real Madrid wishes to express its utmost concern regarding the gravity of the facts and reiterates its confidence in the legal system.
"The club has agreed that, in defence of its legitimate rights, it will appear at the trial when the judge opens it up to the affected parties."
La Liga will also make a complaint, and The Athletic has reported that the Spanish FA will do so too.
In response to the developments, Barcelona president Joan Laporta posted on Twitter:
"Barca is innocent and the victim of a campaign against its honour in which everyone is now involved. No surprise, we will defend Barca and demonstrate the club’s innocence. Many will have to correct themselves."
Until Sunday, the only public comment on the issue made by Real Madrid came from the club's director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno.
"We must respect the times of justice and now we must wait for the conclusion of the investigations of the prosecutor’s office," he said last month.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/PA
Topics: Barcelona, Real Madrid, La Liga, Champions League, Florentino Perez, Joan Laporta