Real Madrid, Barcelona fc match fixing claims

Spanish police are investigating claims by a linesman that he was told to favour Real Madrid over Barcelona in next month’s El Clásico.
The assistant referee, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals, made a formal complaint to the specialised anti-corruption prosecutor in which he claimed that he was pressurised by La Liga’s refereeing committee.
In papers filed to a court, which were published by L’Esportiu, a Catalan newspaper, the official claims that pressure was also put on a senior referee who was expected to take charge of the match on November 21. The official informed authorities that the referee was told handle the game in a way which would “prejudice the interests of one of the clubs involved, Barcelona”.
The official claimed that referee contacted him to request that he make the more difficult decisions in the match because the referee’s performance comes under intense scrutiny during the highly-charged Clásico games.
Jacinto Vicente, a lawyer for the assistant referee, said that his client claimed he was told: “It will be more convenient that the most difficult decisions and which could prejudice the outcome of the game are not taken by the referee, because he is a media figure and generates more controversy and is under greater scrutiny.”
The assistant referee claimed that he also received a telephone call from a senior member of the referee’s committee advising him that it would “intelligent” to follow the instructions if he wanted his career to progress.
Vicente claimed the author of the “pressures” on the assistant referee was José Angel Jiménez de Morales, a member of the referees technical committee.
“I won’t comment for now,” Jimenez said in response to the allegations. “I only have very recently heard about this. I’ll read it and see what is happening but for now I can’t say much more.”
The Spanish Civil Guard is investigating the claims on behalf of anti-corruption prosecutors, who must decide if the case should proceed once an investigation has been completed.
The assistant referee said that he wanted to make the claims to stop possible pressures and bias against Barcelona.
There have never been accusations of match-fixing by a referee or an official in Spain and this week’s events will further add to the charged atmosphere of El Clásico, the Spanish Liga’s biggest fixture, next month.

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