Barcelona and Real Madrid row escalates

Madrid: Barcelona will make a formal complaint to UEFA over comments Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho made about Pep Guardiola`s achievements after their Champions League semi-final first leg victory.

In a separate move, UEFA also opened disciplinary probes into the Portuguese coach`s sending-off at the Bernabeu and subsequent outburst after Wednesday`s bad-tempered clash which Barca won 2-0.

Real midfielder Pepe and Barca reserve goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto will also face hearings after being shown red cards, while nine-time European champions Real will have to explain incidents of missile-throwing and a pitch invasion.

"We want to stand firm when the war of words passes certain limits and we believe Mr Mourinho crossed this line yesterday," Barca spokesman Toni Freixa told reporters after an extraordinary club board meeting.

"We are going to present a case to UEFA`s Control and Disciplinary committee against Mr Mourinho for breaking UEFA`s disciplinary code.”

"It`s unacceptable that anyone can question our titles or our link with UNICEF. It isn`t our intention to fans the flames but to put them out, because we believe coaches should only talk about footballing matters and not things which could incite violence."

Real Madrid were unavailable for comment.

Messi Double

Lionel Messi scored twice on Wednesday after Real had midfielder Pepe sent off for a studs-up lunge at Barcelona`s Daniel Alves in the 62nd minute, and Mourinho was ordered from the bench for his complaints over the same incident.

After the match Mourinho told reporters: "Josep Guardiola is a fantastic football coach, but he has won one Champions League which would embarrass me after the scandalous goings on at Stamford Bridge."

Mourinho referred to the semi-final second leg where Barca grabbed a 1-1 draw to qualify for the final, but where he said Chelsea should have had four penalties that were not given.

"This year if he wins it again it will be after the scandalous goings on at the Bernabeu," he added.

"I don`t know if it`s the UNICEF publicity or the friendship of Villar at UEFA, where he is vice president, I don`t know if it`s because they are so nice, but they have got great power. The rest of us have no chance."

Barca backed the re-election of Angel Maria Villar to the presidency of the Spanish soccer federation, while Real backed a rival candidate.

Barca Warning

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu fired out a warning on Tuesday that the club were not going to stand for any more attempts to smear their record by Real or the local media, backing Guardiola`s surprising outburst from earlier in the day.

"All year there have been insinuations, lies, information which wasn`t true about referees, the calendar and recently doping. It`s enough," he told Spanish radio.

"When our footballers were linked to doping a few weeks ago we took out a lawsuit against the radio station. Today Guardiola also said `enough`. We have to get away from these extra-sporting issues and back to the competition and playing."

Mourinho has already been in trouble with UEFA this season, serving a one-match ban over allegations that two of his Real Madrid players engineered deliberate red cards in a group game with Ajax Amsterdam.

At the time, Mourinho brushed aside UEFA`s punishment, describing it as "a medal."

Real and Barca were widely criticised for their behaviour in Wednesday`s match which featured constant niggling, play-acting and harassment of the referee by both sides.

UEFA said the hearings would take place on May 6.

Bureau Report

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link