Real Madrid, Barcelona Trade Complaints as UEFA Probes Semifinal Incidents
UEFA opened disciplinary cases against Real Madrid and Barcelona over incidents in their Champions League semifinal opener as the Spanish rivals lodged formal complaints with European soccer’s governing body.
The case against Real relates to items thrown on the field two days ago at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, people coming onto the field, a red card given to defender Pepe, and the dismissal of and “inappropriate” media comments made by manager Jose Mourinho, UEFA said on its website yesterday.
Barcelona, which won the match 2-0, is being investigated for a red card shown to reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto. The cases will be heard by UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body on May 6, three days after the return game in Barcelona.
The third meeting between the archrivals in 12 days featured three red and five yellow cards. The teams had to be separated, with the help of police, as they left after a scoreless first half and Pinto was red-carded for his part in the fracas.
Pepe was ejected in the second half for a foot-first challenge and Mourinho was sent to the stands in the aftermath after mockingly applauding the decision. Lionel Messi then scored two goals in the final 14 minutes to give Barcelona the first-leg victory.
Following the game, Mourinho called Pepe’s red card a “scandal” and said it “disgusts me to live in this world of soccer.” He also said he didn’t know whether referee Wolfgang Stark had wanted to give publicity to Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, whose name Barcelona wears on its jerseys, or to please UEFA with some of his decisions.
“It’s clear that against Barcelona you have no chance,” Mourinho said after the match. “I don’t know if it’s the publicity of Unicef, I don’t know if it’s because they are very nice, but they’ve got this power.”
Following an extraordinary meeting of the club’s board yesterday, Barcelona said it would make a formal complaint to UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body over Mourinho’s comments.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that someone can call into question our history, our titles,” Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa said on the Catalan club’s website.
Real, which won the last of its record nine European Cup titles in 2002, countered late yesterday by issuing its own complaint to UEFA concerning what it described as “repeated unsportsmanlike behavior” by Barcelona.
Real said in a statement on its website that Barca’s players “consistently feigned aggressions with the sole purpose of misleading the referee of the match, which clearly led to the unfair decision to dismiss our player, Pepe.”
Mourinho has the club’s “full support,” Real said.
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