Barcelona President Joan Laporta has clarified the recent charges against the club, amidst the ongoing referee payment scandal that has rocked the Blaugrana. Speaking at a press conference, Laporta addressed the accusations head-on and offered reassurances to fans that the club had done nothing wrong.
For more on his press conference, check out the second half of the latest podcast:
The accusations center around payments allegedly made to referees in order to influence the outcome of matches, and Laporta was keen to stress that the club had cooperated fully with investigators and had nothing to hide. He pointed out that the investigation was still ongoing and that there had been no official findings or charges made against the club.
Laporta also took the opportunity to respond to Real Madrid’s recent video, which alleged that Barcelona had links to former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. He dismissed the claims as a “pathetic attempt to distract attention from their own involvement in the referee payment scandal” and pointed out that Barcelona had always stood against fascism and oppression.
The ongoing scandal has put a strain on the relationship between Barcelona and Real Madrid, with both clubs taking potshots at each other in public. However, Laporta was keen to stress that the rivalry between the two clubs should be kept on the pitch and that they should work together to ensure the future of Spanish football.
Joan Laporta said: “I want to believe that Florentino [Pérez] was under a lot of pressure, but I think the club should have held on and waited for the right moment or, since there is nothing, not done anything. I know he was under pressure from the people and I can understand it but not accept it or give my opinion. I don’t think it’s right that they got involved and this has been spoken about.”
Laporta also expressed his confidence in the club’s ability to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.
Joan Laporta went on: “Barcelona has always been a club that stands for values, and we will not compromise on those values. We will cooperate fully with the investigation and we will come out of this stronger. We will continue to fight for what we believe in and we will continue to make history on the pitch.”
In response to Real Madrid’s video that accused Barcelona of having connections with Francisco Franco, the government of Catalonia has requested that the video be taken down as it is seen as distorting history. The Catalan government said: “It is a manipulation of history, it is irresponsible”.
Soon after which even the National Basketball league in Spain apologized for retweeting Madrid’s post.
As the investigation continues, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Barcelona and Spanish football as a whole. However, with Laporta at the helm, the Blaugrana can be sure that they have a president who will fight tooth and nail to defend the club’s reputation and integrity.
For more on the complicated history of FC Barcelona and the Spanish government through the years, check out the YouTube history playlist, particularly the videos on Paulino Alcantara, Alfredo di Stefano, and Josep Sunyol.
By Kanak Chauhan