FC Barcelona offered the club’s first public reaction to reports in the Spanish press that a linesman had been placed under pressure to favour Real Madrid during the first Clásico of the season at the Bernabéu on November 21.
“We learned of it through the media yesterday,” said Susana Monje, Barcelona’s financial vice-president, on Thursday. “We will possibly discuss at 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.”
Real Madrid and the Spanish Professional Football League have yet to make an official comment on the reports, which were first aired on Spanish radio network Cope on Wednesday night.
A linesman, who preferred to remain anonymous, made a complaint to the Civil Guard and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s office in Barcelona to the effect that the referee assigned to the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona next month, José Luis González González, told him he had received instructions from the Referees Technical Committee to, in the claimant’s words, “be prejudicial to the interests of one of the clubs – Barcelona” during the Clásico.
The claimant also reported that a few days later the committee spokesman, José Ángel Jiménez Muñoz de Morales, had called him to warn that refusal to follow the instruction would lead to his career in match officialdom hitting a galls ceiling. The linesman also told investigators that a colleague who habitually officiates in conjunction with González González had received the same instructions.