‘Barca’s reputation is being undermined’

Barcelona’s Toni Freixa has hit out at recent reports in Spain he says are part of ‘an effort to undermine the reputation of our athletes and our institutions.

The club spokesman was directing the media this week in relation to allegations that have been made by El Mundo against Lionel Messi’s father Jorge, and that have listed the player and three of his Barca teammates as interviewed as witnesses.

“We’re pleased that the Ministry of Interior has immediately denied the information published by a news outlet. The information published by the outlet is untrue,” Freixa began in response to the allegations.

“We want to express our concern because lately there’s been an effort to undermine the reputation of our athletes and our institutions. The board, just as it as done in similar situations, will act strongly.

“We want to send a message that everything isn’t fair game and that we are aware of what is being produced.”

Attention has also been on one club member’s accusations against Sandro Rosell for misappropriating €40m of the transfer fee paid out for Neymar in the summer.

“The club has received absolutely nothing, we haven’t been notified of anything. In any event, this is about an operation in which we have been transparent from the very beginning.

“We said that we didn’t give certain details for reasons of confidentiality, but we are willing to give them if a judicial entity asks us to do so.”

The European Commission are investigating Barcelona and Real Madrid for allegations of receiving illegal help.

“Honestly, we don’t understand the basis of this investigation. We haven’t received anything and for us this is just news.

“We’re aware that the LFP has made a statement rejecting the possibility of this happening.”

Meanwhile, Freixa also confirmed that the Catalans will contest a friendly in Qatar in January, as part of their 2010 contract signed with Qatar Sports Investment. A date and opponent will be confirmed at a later time.

Tags European Commission Freixa Jorge Messi Messi Qatar