Real Madrid are taking legal action after they were accused of bribing referees by a former police commissioner.
Jose Manuel Villarejo made the claims in a radio interview where he alleged that club president Florentino Perez engaged in illegal activity involving paying match officials.
Barcelona and the former vice-president of Spanish football’s refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, were indicted for “corruption”, “breach of trust” and “false business records” in March, in a case brought by public prosecutors.
The club have always denied any wrongdoing and say Negreira was only ever hired as an “external consultant” although the case has since widened amid further charges.
Villarejo claimed to RAC1 that Real engaged in similar practices but it was never pursued.
“All presidents have done it. Florentino Perez too. Somehow, at Real Madrid, before this (Barca’s Negreira case) the same thing had already been detected,” he said.
“It is impossible to prosecute anything that involves Perez. It would be suicide for anyone who dares to do so. Florentino is untouchable.”
A Real club statement on Tuesday read: “The president of Real Madrid C.F., Florentino Perez, has ordered the immediate filing of the corresponding legal action against the ex-commissioner Villarejo for the false accusations made on the Catalan radio station RAC1.”
Villarejo, 72, was arrested in 2017 on charges of bribery and extortion among other alleged offences and went on trial in 2021.
Real Madrid return to action in the Champions League on Tuesday night against Napoli.
(Photo: Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)