In pictures: Real Madrid v Liverpool
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez has refused to attend his club’s La Liga showdown with Barcelona on Sunday night after the Catalan giants were charged with corruption over payments to former referees chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. Real currently trail La Liga leaders Barcelona by nine points, with the Nou Camp team on course to land the title.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Barcelona had been charged after paying Negreira’s company money during his time as vice-president of Spanish football’s referee commission. Negreira, who held the role between 1994 and 2018, is also facing charges of corruption but has denied ever favouring Barcelona, with the Catalan club also denying any wrongdoing.
According to El Mundo, Real have decided to appear as a private accusation in the Negreira case, with Barcelona chiefs subsequently withdrawing their usual lunch invitation to their Madrid counterparts ahead of El Clasico.
And Perez will not travel to the Nou Camp as Real expect a very hostile reception and consider it a risk that is not worth taking. Perez didn’t even miss Luis Figo’s first game back at the Nou Camp after he had quit Barcelona to join Real in 2000 or the first El Clasico after the pandemic. But he is set to stay in the Spanish capital on Sunday.
Chelsea boss Potter ‘frustrated’ by Everton draw and singles out trio [QUOTES]
According to The Athletic, there still remains doubt over the exact nature of the services Negreira provided to Barca, with the ex-chief insisting that no documentation of his work existed because it was always conducted verbally. He claimed his work included providing advice on how players should behave with various referees.
But Negreira also told Spain’s tax authorities, as reported in Spanish media, that Barcelona had paid him “to make sure no refereeing decisions were made against them, which is to say, for everything to be neutral.”
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly ‘contacts American billionaire’ for favour [LATEST]
Man Utd and Liverpool set for £50m battle as Wolves ‘resigned’ to sale [TRANSFERS]
Ten Hag expected to make five changes for Man Utd clash with Fulham [PREVIEW]
Earlier this month, Barca president Joan Laporta said: “We plan to do a press conference in the future to speak about the case. For now, we want to make clear Barcelona has not bought off referees and it has never been the intention. That’s a categorical no.”
On the pitch, Barcelona have enjoyed a fine season in La Liga and are running away with the title after winning 21 of their 25 matches. But the team suffered disappointment in Europe after being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages, before losing to Manchester United in a Europa League play-off last month.
Source: Read Full Article