Negreira Case: The noisy silence of Florentino and Rubiales | Sports| The USA Print

Joan Laporta and Florentino Pérez, before a League match.

Joan Laporta and Florentino Pérez, before a League match.David Ramos (Getty)

The ‘Barça-Enríquez Negreira case’ had a joint note of reproach from 40 of the 42 LaLiga clubs. Barça apart, only Madrid is missing, whose silence makes Madrid fans uncomfortable and inflames anti-Madridistas. “What are they going to say, if they have been doing the same thing all their lives?”, comes to be the summary of the effect of silence Florentine decreed on the matter. The club broadcasts through external media, which it controls abundantly, that it has spent years denouncing bad refereeing on its television, and it is true. But everyone complains about the referees, that doesn’t differentiate Madrid from anyone. What differentiates him is not signing that statement from all the others who, apart from protesting arbitrations all the life of God, now denounce that a club has been there for 18 years and four presidential terms with different holders paying the vice president of the committee of referees. Practice that only stopped when the object of the gifts ceased in his vice-presidential role.

Undoubtedly, Florentino is weighed more by two other things: his gratitude to Laporta for acting as butler in the unlikely cause of the Super League and his phobia of Thebes, with whom he would not even go to win the lottery. Regarding the first, Florentino has been trying to revive dying embers with a bellows for some time; one of those mangoes is Agnelli and the other Laporta, what two. It has helped Laporta to obtain his credits and levers and he pressured so that the new Sports Law (so new and already so useless, in view of the rapid prescription of this) freed him from responding for economic losses in his term. Regarding Thebes, he doesn’t even join his actions against the racist shouting at Vinicius, that’s as far as the phobia goes. And then Vinicius, who like all children repeats what he hears at home, says that he suffers racist insults every day “and LaLiga does nothing.”

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There would be a third reason, this already ugly one, which could be related to that “they’ve been doing the same thing all their lives”. In 2009 Madrid hired the recently retired referee Megía Dávila. Nor is it anything equivalent to paying the vice president of the CTA nor was he the first to do so (I seem to remember that Villarreal started with Ansuátegui), but it is something that is left over. Although it is decorated as advice to the players on the Rules and on how to behave with each referee and his hobbies, what takes time is the will to coax the one on duty. But when one drifts there, one runs risks, and lo and behold, today the person in charge of women’s arbitration in the Federation is Yolanda Parga, a former referee of a category, competition for the position…, but the wife of Megía Dávila. Oh, oh, oh, oh… What bad luck. When you step on a swamp, mosquitoes bite you.

This of Yolanda Parga may be one of the causes of the equally noisy silence of Luis Rubiales, on the other hand, as allergic as Florentino to sharing any type of initiative with Thebes. But the Federation is committed to this beyond that wretched A coincidence that links female arbitration with Madrid to the way in which Austria mends European politics by dint of weddings. The four men who run the current CTA, Medina Cantalejo, Rubinos Pérez, Clos Gómez and Undiano Mallenco made their careers during the enriqueznegreirato, a time over which the well-off ex-vice president has cast an infamous shadow. But Rubiales does not move either, except in internal inquiries, in case something ugly appeared or something similar to it.

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The ranks of this silence have been broken by Estrada Fernández, who to this day is neither a referee nor ceases to be. I explain. When he reached the age of 45, the CTA did not renew him, but Del Cerro Grande, who was in his case, because granting or denying it is his power. In return, he is a VOR room referee, but it has come to him that this will end the season. He already feels removed from the causes of the collective and either out of resentment or because a law firm wanting notoriety has urged him on, he has thrown that stone into the Federation pond, causing waves that we’ll see how far they go.

By the way, he is Catalan. Like the admirable journalists who uncovered the matter, Jordi Martí, Sique Rodríguez and Adrià Soldevila, in the SER Barcelona program whose name does not mislead: What do you judge?! But according to Laporta all this is “Madrid things”.

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