A potential match-fixing scandal has engulfed next month’s Clasico after a linesman complained to Spanish police that he had been told to favour Real Madrid by the matchday referee.
The identities of the match officials involved are being kept private for fear of reprisals against them but anti-corruption officials are understood to be taking the claims seriously.
The match officials for the Real Madrid v Barcelona fixture have not yet been made confirmed but it is understood that one of the pre-designated linesmen for the fixture had been contacted by the pre-designated referee who told him that the refereeing committee were putting pressure on them to favour Real Madrid.
Jose Angel Jimenez Munoz de Morales, a member of the referee’s committee, is then accused of calling the linesman in question to apply extra pressure once it was made clear to him that the match official was not interested in following the alleged request to make biased calls against Barcelona.
Munoz de Morales responded to the claims on Wednesday night saying: ‘I have no idea where they come from. It is like something out of a Kafka novel’.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone caused a storm at the start of the season when he implied the league would be made easier for Real Madrid to win this year. Simeone said in an interview: ‘The league is dangerously prepared for Real Madrid. Madrid cannot go seven years with only winning one league. This year I think that sadly it is difficult to see another team winning it.’
- Daily Mail