Benitez: Linesman not serious

Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez has expressed his belief that recent allegations of refereeing corruption in next month’s Clasico are “not serious”.

An unnamed linesman reportedly alleged to Spain’s anti-corruption police that he was pressured into favouring Los Blancos over Barcelona when the two sides were due to meet in November, but the Coach is unconvinced by the claim’s veracity.

“I don’t think it’s serious. If someone complains and doesn’t give a name then it’s not serious,” he said at a Press conference ahead of Madrid’s trip to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

“In these situations, the LFP, Referees [Technical] Committee and RFEF must go back and find all the evidence and arguments [for and against].

“If it’s not found to be serious then these people have to pay [for making empty accusations].

“If there’s foundation [to the claims] then the people in question must pay for the damage they’ve caused La Liga.

“The claims which aren’t serious shouldn’t be reported in the media.

“[On Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff being diagnosed with lung cancer], we’re talking about an important person in the world of football, both as a player and Coach.

“We’re talking about a legend, so we must wish him all the best and hope that he finds the best treatment as soon as possible. No matter who you are, sport must unite.

“In UEFA’s injury report, if you analyse it, Madrid are in pretty good shape.

“You can’t compare the statistics if the teams’ circumstances aren’t similar.

“We can only compare it with other teams playing two games a week, and the stats are similar from that perspective.

“57 percent of our injuries occurred while on international duty and we can’t control that.

“The rest can happen when there’s a high demand placed on them, but I’m happy with the work of the medical department.

“We have specialists at the highest level. This medical team as a whole, for the means we have, the skills and experience they have and their enthusiasm and dedication, is the one of the best I’ve ever had.

“We’ll see how the players who are close to recovering evolve in training. There are three to four nearby.

“Karim [Benzema] worked a bit yesterday, while [Mateo] Kovacic and Sergio [Ramos] are decisions which depend on the risk we want to take and the needs the team may have.

“[Luka] Modric has trained well and played [against PSG], so we’re more optimistic about him.”

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