Barcelona president Joan Laporta has assured in comments carried by Marca that if he had known about the allegations of sexual abuse against former coordinator of Barcelona’s youth academy Albert Benaiges the club wouldn’t have hired him.
“It’s obvious that if we had known everything that’s coming out, we wouldn’t have hired him,” Laporta said. Barcelona are compiling all the information coming out about the case before making an official club statement. The abuse has been alleged by sixty former students of Benaiges, and is disturbing reading.
Benaiges, born in Mexico City, masturbated with 13-year-old boys, watched pornography with them, touched them and played sexual games. These incidents took place over 20 years in the showers, in the gym, at home and at summer camps.
A group of former students of the Escola Barcelona decided to report Benaiges to the police, with the first report made on Friday and more expected in the coming days. Benaiges was dismissed by Barcelona on December second, the day after the club learned of Diario ARA’s investigation into his behaviour.
He had returned to Barcelona in April through Laporta, after leaving the club for Dubai back in 2011. In the intervening period he’s spent time in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Japan. He had spent over 20 years coordinating Barcelona’s youth system.