Barcelona and Real Madrid boards WON'T meet before Clasico due to tensions over Negreira payment scandal
- Barcelona have cancelled traditional lunch
- Angry about Madrid opposing them in Negreira case
- Two sides previously united in Super League plans
WHAT HAPPENED? The two boards usually meet for lunch before every Clasico, in a gesture of friendship before one of the biggest fixtures in football. But Barcelona, led by Joan Laporta, have no intention of doing so ahead of Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash, with the Blaugrana angry about the way Real have treated them in the ongoing Negreira case, according to Sport.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: After initially refusing to condemn Barcelona for their reported payment of a senior refereeing official, Madrid made a public U-turn, releasing a statement saying they would be willing to testify against the club. Barcelona viewed it as a slight, especially as the duo united against La Liga after the unveiling of a planned European Super League in 2021.
AND WHAT'S MORE: This isn't the first time Laporta has declined the customary get-together. He also refused to meet prior to the Clasico on March 14. Madrid President Florentino Perez is also debating whether he should travel to Catalonia over fears of a hostile atmosphere. He didn't make the trip on March 19 for the league encounter.
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WHAT NEXT? The two sides will meet on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg. Barcelona have a 1-0 lead after the first leg.