February 05, (THEWILL) – Carlo Ancelotti has stated he will not “sink” to the level of Barcelona regarding their recent comments over the broadcast of refereeing decisions. Barcelona President Joan Laporta accused Real Madrid of “influencing the competition” through the videos shown on their in-house TV channel highlighting refereeing mistakes.
This comes as Barcelona continue to face scrutiny over the Negreira scandal involving secret payments made to a former refereeing chief. When asked about Laporta’s comments, Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez agreed “100%” and claimed the videos “influence the competition completely, week after week”.
Prior to Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with rivals Atletico Madrid, Ancelotti refused to get drawn into a war of words with Xavi and Laporta. “I’m a professional, and as a professional, I don’t want to sink to that level, out of respect to Spanish football,” Ancelotti stated. When asked again about Laporta’s rhetoric, he retorted: “I already said I won’t sink [to that level]. It isn’t a level for professionals.”
Xavi has since attempted to make peace with Ancelotti, showing respect for the Italian after Barcelona’s 3-1 win against Alaves. “I have a very good relationship with him. He may have felt pressured by my words. It doesn’t go towards him. All the respect for Carlo Ancelotti,” Xavi clarified.
The gap between league leaders Real Madrid and third-place Barcelona now stands at eight points. Barcelona remain five points clear of fifth-place Athletic Club in the race for a top-four finish.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.