Linesman ‘told to favour Real Madrid in next month’s clásico against Barcelona.
Spanish football confronts a possibly tremendous match-altering outrage after an anonymous linesman charged he had been advised to support Real Madrid in one month from now’s clásico against Barcelona.
The linesman said he did not want to be identified because of concerns over “possible reprisals” but he made a formal complaint through a lawyer to the anti-corruption investigating magistrate in Barcelona in which he claimed to have been told to favour Madrid – first by another official and then, over the phone, by a member of the Spanish Football Federation’s referees’ committee.
The linesman charged he was advised authorities had as of now acted to impact the result of games and that another linesman has been subjected to comparable weights. As indicated by his legal advisor, Jacinto Vicente Hernández, a specialist in games law situated in Barcelona, the linesman needed to open up to the world about the charges yet was influenced to make a formal, legitimate articulation to the counter debasement exploring officer. The Guardia Civil has additionally been educated.
The story was broken by the Catalan daily paper L’Esportiu on Wednesday and caught up by Cadena Cope radio station. It has had a colossal effect in Spain, regardless of the possibility that there are questions anything will happen to it. The denuncia or formal protest made by the linesman through his legal counselor, dated 19 October, has been distributed. In it, the linesman perceives a phone discussion he says occurred was not recorded and that there is no solid confirmation of it, yet he trusts the other linesman will likewise approach.
José Ángel Jiménez Muñoz, who is reported as being the referees’ committee member accused of having made the telephone call to the linesman, said on Wednesday night he had not yet had the chance to read the complaint but said of the allegations: “I have no idea where they come from. It is like something out of a Kafka novel.” Barcelona’s vice-president, Susana Monje, said: “I hope it does not prove to be true.”
Later, she added: “We will possibly discuss at it a meeting of the board. All I can say at the moment is that if it is confirmed, it will be dangerous story in terms of the prestige of La Liga.” The claims have not been substantiated.
Miguel Cardenal, Spain’s secretary of state for sport, said: “This is an extremely serious accusation and is extraordinarily alarming. This needs to be resolved as soon as possible. We cannot be talking about threats without knowing who is it. No one should be scared. It cannot be reasonable that in 2015 someone can fear reprisals for making an accusation like this.”
The linesman, who forms part of one of the officiating teams that could be chosen for el clásico, alleges that an official spoke to him in September and suggested that, should he be given the chance to officiate, he should seek to influence the game in Madrid’s favour. The linesman was allegedly told the order had come from “someone inside [the refereeing authorities]” and that it was better for the linesman to try to fix the game than a referee as the lead official is subject to greater media scrutiny.
He claims to have been told this had already happened this season and that, as it caused a stir, it was better to be more “subtle”. The linesman says he was not comfortable with the suggestion and that the official replied nor was he but as they are constantly rated by the referees’ committee, and their careers depend upon that committee, it would be wise to follow orders.
The linesman alleges a few days later he received the phone call from Jiménez Muñoz, who had been made aware of his reluctance to participate. His lawyer suggested he call back and record the conversation but the linesman said as the alleged call had come through a switchboard, he could not.
The La Liga president, Javier Tebas, said: “This allegation seems a bit far fetched. It makes no sense, when the referee for this game has not been designated [yet]. The league is not set up for anybody, not from the league, or the Federation or anywhere.”
As indicated by his legal advisor, he needed to stand up to calm the weight he felt he was being put under. Having put forth the formal expression, the following step will be for an examination to be opened if it be considered there are adequate grounds to do as such. In any case, the linesman concedes there is no hard confirmation. Real Madrid have yet to comment.