There has been a change to the team of officials who will take charge of Barcelona’s visit to Real Madrid after an assistant referee’s injury was confirmed.
David Fernandez Borbalan will referee the first Clasico of the season but will do so without having Jorge Canelo Prieto Fernandez running the line.
It will be the first time in 22 games that Canelo Prieto hasn’t assisted Fernandez Borbalan but he suffered an Achilles tendon injury in early November and has had to step aside.
The Referees’ Committee has appointed Diego Barbero Sevilla to replace Prieto after following the correct protocol.
That is, the new assistant had to be an internationally accredited official, which Barbero Sevilla is, and he was also Fernandez Borbalan’s preferred replacement.
The issue of assistant referees for the Clasico has been more contentious than usual after an October allegation of ‘pressure’ to favour Madrid over Barca was made by an unnamed linesman.
An investigation has been opened into the claim by the Anti-Corruption office of Barcelona while the naming of the team to take the game was delayed to avoid a build-up of attention, Fernandez Borbalan not installed until Tuesday evening.