Spanish football has been rocked by another match-fixing scandal after a linesman sensationally claimed he had been told by the predetermined referee to favour Real Madrid in an upcoming El Clasico tie against Barcelona.
Barcelona are due to travel to the Bernabeu on November 21 to take on their La Liga rivals in what is probably the biggest domestic football game on the planet.
La Liga had already chosen the officials for the match, although they had yet to announce who they were. Their identities are likely to remain anonymous to prevent them from facing a reprisal.
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The linesman claims he was contacted by the referee, who told him they were under pressure from the referee's committee to influence the match result by helping the home side. He refused, instead deciding to leak the incident.
According to the Daily Mail, when he refused to take part, Jose Angel Jimenez Munoz de Morales, a member of the referees' committee, made contact in an attempt to apply even more pressure.
Munoz de Morales quickly responded to the allegation, saying: "I have no idea where they come from. It is like something out of a Kafka novel."
But while he may be shrugging the controversy off, the allegations are likely to be taken very seriously by Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, who has already sparked controversy this season for suggesting Real would be allowed to win La Liga.
"The league is dangerously prepared for Real Madrid," he said in a recent interview. "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."
Javier Tebas, president of Liga de Futbol Profesional, is also likely to investigate the claims further. He has been outspoken in the fight against corruption in Spanish football, claiming earlier this year that as many as seven or eight La Liga games were being fixed every season.
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