LaLiga slams Real Madrid’s ‘merciless campaign’ on referees

LaLiga has accused Real Madrid of conducting a “merciless campaign” against referees and offered its “unequivocal support” to the official branded negligent by the club over his handling of anti-Vinícius Júnior chants this weekend.

Madrid filed a formal complaint with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Monday saying referee Juan Martinez Munuera had “voluntarily and deliberately omitted” crowd chants of “Vinícius, die” from his match report after the club’s 4-2 win at Osasuna on Saturday.

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The RFEF responded by offering its “total and unconditional support” to Martinez Munuera, calling the accusations “unfair” and saying the incidents had been recorded by its match delegate at El Sadar.

LaLiga said in a statement on Wednesday that it comprehensively rejected Madrid’s claims.

“LaLiga’s Executive Commission, which met today, wishes to express its absolute rejection of the complaint that Real Madrid has made against referee [Juan] Martinez Munuera before the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation and express its unequivocal support for [Munuera] and, by extension, Spanish referees collectively,” it read.

“LaLiga, as part of its firm commitment to eradicating all forms of violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in football, files a complaint with the RFEF’s Disciplinary Committee and with the State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance regarding all those incidents which occur in matches in the First and Second Division.

“LaLiga’s Executive Commission considers that this complaint is yet another manifestation of the merciless campaign undertaken by Real Madrid against Spanish referees, with the presumed intention of putting pressure on this group, in order to obtain a competitive advantage.

“As indicated and accredited by the Referees’ Technical Committee, Mr. Martinez Munuera’s behaviour was impeccable and was scrupulously in line with the regulations that govern refereeing. Any other interpretation that can be made of the facts is simply spurious.”

LaLiga and Real Madrid have clashed over a series of issues in recent years, including Madrid’s support for the breakaway European Super League and the league’s handling of income distribution from TV rights.

Madrid have also repeatedly expressed their unhappiness with the standard of refereeing in Spain this season, highlighting refereeing mistakes before and after games on the club’s television channel, Real Madrid TV.

Last month, Sevilla filed a complaint alleging Madrid had carried out a “campaign of persecution and harassment” against the officials who took charge of their meeting in LaLiga.