Barcelona President Sandro Rosell says the European soccer champion will end institutional relations with Real Madrid next season should its archrival continues to be unsporting.
Rosell said Real coach Jose Mourinho “passed all the boundaries of sporting rivalry” when he said after the first part of their Champions League semifinal in April that counterpart Josep Guardiola should be ashamed of Barcelona’s success because it’s favored by referees.
Tension between the clubs increased as they faced off four times at the climax of last season. Barcelona came out on top on the field, taking the Spanish league and Champions League. Real won the Copa del Rey.
“The rivalry will continue next season but we won’t allow them to pass the limits of sportsmanlike behavior,” Rosell said in comments on Barcelona’s website.
As part of institutional relations, directors of both clubs have lunch or dinner together before their teams play in what’s known as ‘El Clasico.’ The presidents of both clubs sit alongside during the game.
Mourinho, who made the comments after Real had defender Pepe ejected in a 3-1 loss, got a five-game ban and was fined 50,000 euros ($71,000) by European soccer ruling body UEFA for the outburst. Real is appealing the decision.
Rosell also said Real Madrid was the source of a report on radio station Cadena Cope in March that linked Barcelona’s team with doping. Barcelona is suing the Spanish broadcaster.
To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at email@example.com