'We always analyse referees' - Barcelona corruption allegations addressed by Xavi
- Barcelona under investigation
- Club made payment to referees' chief
- Xavi defends Barca's actions
WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona have issued a statement to deny any wrongdoing after a new report revealed the club are under investigation for a payment of €1.4 million to the former vice president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Referees Committee. Xavi has been asked about the situation and has defended his club's dealings.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I try to focus on football, but this club has these kinds of stories too. I’ve been told we have done a public statement, and I follow what the club says. I think it has happened in years I was not involved with the club, but I will always defend the institution," he told reporters. "We always analyse referees from an internal perspective. We check how they conduct the game, if they are very communicative or not… those are things we work on from a long time ago, but on an internal level."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: President Joan Laporta has also had his say on the matter and has tried to reassure supporters that all is well. "I say this to the cules [Barcelona fans]. It is no coincidence that this information is now coming out at this time when Barca are doing well. It is no coincidence," he said.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? Xavi's side take on Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League knockout play-off on Thursday at Camp Nou.