(CNN) — Athletic Bilbao fans threw fake banknotes onto the San Mamés pitch to indicate their displeasure over the alleged payment scandal surrounding La Liga club Barcelona..
The two teams faced each other in La Liga on Sunday, two days after prosecutors accused Barcelona of “continuous corruption between individuals”, among other charges.
Rafinha scored the only goal of the match, as the Catalans achieved victory, moving away from the top of the standings by 9 points from pursuing Real Madrid, despite the payment scandal that continued to dump the club off the field with a number of former officials, including former president Josep Maria. Bartomeu.
The Barcelona Public Prosecutor’s Office was investigating the Blaugrana over allegations that it made $1.5 million in payments over a 3-year period to a company owned by a senior Spanish Arbitration Commission (CTA) official.
A source in Barcelona told CNN on Friday that the club does not have an official statement at the moment, while the team’s reaction was that the charges were expected after the recent events, and that the club would assist the investigation in any way it could.
The source also strongly denied that the club had ever bribed a referee or tried to influence arbitration decisions.
The Spanish lawyer, Jose Maria Foster Fabra, who represents Bartomeu in this case, told CNN: “We are preparing the defense, and we do not believe that this case will go to trial.”
In response to the hostile reception from the Athletic Bilbao fans, Xavi, the Barcelona coach, told reporters: “I respect the fans at San Mamés, they have always treated me very well.”
He added, “This hostile environment to Barcelona from San Mamés surprises me, honestly, and saddens me because they have always treated us very well. Judging early is not good for society.”
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