Angry Real Madrid fans stage protest against Barcelona before El Clasico amid referee scandal

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Real Madrid Clasico
Real Madrid supporters chanted against Joan Laporta and the Spanish Football Federation ahead of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona.
  • Real Madrid host Barca in Copa del Rey
  • Fans react to refereeing scandal
  • Chant against Laporta and the RFEF

WHAT HAPPENED? Real Madrid supporters congregated outside the Santiago Bernabeu before kick-off in El Clasico on Thursday to make their feelings clear about the current refereeing scandal engulfing La Liga. Fans chanted "Laporta pay me" in relation to an investigation which has uncovered Barcelona's past payments to a company owned by the former vice-president of referees in Spain.

Fans also distributed fake €500 notes with Laporta's face and the Barcelona shield printed on them. A flag with "Corruption in the Federation" was also spotted outside the Real Madrid ground.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona are under scrutiny after it was revealed the Catalans made 33 payments to to a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreir, who was the vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees between 2016 and 2018. Laporta has vowed to provide a full explanation of Barcelona's involvement once an investigation has been completed.


Laporta Real Madrid

Joan Laporta Barcelona 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Real Madrid and Barcelona meet on Thursday in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie. The return is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 at Camp Nou. The two teams will also meet in La Liga in between the two ties, facing off in Barcelona on Sunday, March 19.