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Real Madrid and Barcelona Engage in a Heated War of Words Over Spain’s Fascist Past, Involving a Corruption Scandal and Accusations of Favoritism

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, bitter rivals both on and off the pitch, are currently embroiled in a war of words regarding their alleged closeness to Francisco Franco during the Spanish dictator’s 36-year rule. This unexpected and incendiary turn has been sparked by the ‘Caso Negreira’, a scandal involving referee payments that have landed accusations of corruption at Barcelona’s doorstep. Despite the scandal emerging over eight weeks ago, FCB President Joan Laporta only recently spoke out publicly during a two-hour media conference. During his address, Laporta denied the allegations and took several digs at Real Madrid, claiming that the relationship between the two clubs had soured after Barça’s rival got involved with allegations of its own. He even produced what he claimed were 629 technical refereeing reports, 43 CDs, and four miscellaneous reports to disprove the accusations.

During the press conference, Laporta unexpectedly changed the topic. He claimed that Real Madrid had always received favorable treatment from the media and referees, instead of Barcelona, although he didn’t provide any evidence to support this. However, Laporta concluded by referencing the historical links between Real Madrid and Franco’s fascist dictatorship, stating that the club is considered “the team of the regime” due to its close ties with political, financial, and sporting power.

These remarks did not sit well with the Spanish capital, and Real Madrid even released an unusual video on Monday, asking the question, “Which club is the team of the regime?”

The video produced by Real Madrid may lack the production quality of a multi-billion dollar organization, resembling more that of a high school project or amateur YouTuber. Nonetheless, it presents a series of statements that seemingly suggest that Barcelona received preferential treatment from Franco. The video also highlights that Barcelona won eight league titles and nine Copas del Generalísimo (later renamed Copa del Rey) during the dictatorship, while Real had to wait 15 years to win a league title under Franco’s rule. In contrast, Real won 14 league titles and six Copas del Generalísimo compared to Barcelona’s eight and nine, respectively, during the same period.

The video concludes with a quote from Real’s legendary player and president, Santiago Bernabéu, who expressed his frustration with claims that the team was favored by the regime. This has caused outrage from the spokesperson for the Government of Cataluña, who called the video “fake news” and “a manipulation of history.” They have demanded that Real Madrid remove the video, citing the suffering of thousands of people under the Franco regime, including FC Barcelona’s president at the time, who was executed.

It is unclear where this mudslinging will lead, but it appears that the previously cordial but often tense relationship between the two clubs has reached a breaking point.

By: Mr. WWK


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