The attacks and accusations between Barcelona and Spanish league president Javier Tebas are far from over.
The latest spat on Monday was the club asking for Tebas’ resignation after a report said the league gave false evidence against Barcelona to prosecutors in the refereeing scandal involving the Catalan club.
Tebas had already claimed the report by La Vanguardia newspaper was misleading and carried incorrect assumptions, but it was enough to reignite the vendetta between the two sides.
“It is not the first time that the president of La Liga has used the media weapons at his disposal to damage FC Barcelona,” the club said in a statement. “However, in contrast to his usual nonsense, we could never have imagined that he could try to incriminate our club with false evidence.”
Barcelona said the article published by La Vanguardia “is of such gravity that it should put all the clubs in La Liga on alert, given that it talks of practices which are in no way consistent with the job” of league president.
“If only for this fact, that of giving himself powers that do not belong to him, although also for reasons of dignity and respect for the presidency of La Liga, Mr. Tebas should resign from his post,” the club said. “Nevertheless, aware of his obsession with persecuting FC Barcelona and showing his constant averse and manifest dislike of our club, we understand that the current La Liga president will persist in his efforts to keep damaging our club.”
Tebas asked for a correction by the newspaper, saying the article “includes assertions and erroneous information” which “seriously damage my honor” and “the image” of the Spanish league.
“While the headline is grossly misleading, in the Vanguardia article itself it states that La Liga explicitly does not seek to speculate nor accuse anyone with the documentation provided,” the league said.
Barcelona has claimed to be “the victim of a media campaign for events that never took place: Barça has never paid referees.”
Barcelona has been under scrutiny since it became public that the club paid millions of dollars for years to a company that belonged to the vice president of the country’s refereeing committee.
The club has denied wrongdoing, saying the payments were for only technical reports, not to try to influence refereeing decisions.
“This harassment involves a group of media outlets and opinion writers with varying degrees of intent and with La Liga fanning the flames behind the scenes against our club, with contributions from its president who has only gone in one direction: Trying to condemn us in the public’s eyes before the facts have been judged,” Barcelona said.
Tebas has called for the resignation of Barcelona president Joan Laporta if he didn’t properly explain the payments that were made by the club to the refereeing committee official.
Barcelona has also been at odds with the league over the registering of playmaker Gavi into the main squad amid disagreement over the club’s salary cap imposed by the league.
Tebas over the years has also had spats with Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez and Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales.