Spanish football league president defends Barcelona chief Josep Bartomeu
Madrid, Feb 5 (IANS) Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish Football League (LFP), defended FC Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu after the latter was indicted for tax fraud.
Bartomeu was indicted by Judge Pablo Ruz Tuesday for tax fraud linked to possible irregularities over the signing of Brazilian striker Neymar from Santos in the summer of 2013, reports Xinhua.
However, speaking to the press Wednesday, Tebas came out in support of the Barca president.
"I have read the judge's written arguments and, in relation to the imputation of Bartomeu, there are legal flaws," he said.
He explained that the tax Bartomeu was accused of avoiding could have been paid up until Jan 31 this year.
"It is not normal that he has been accused in four days," added Tebas, who said the tax issue was "highly debatable I think that Bartomeu might be right".
He also backed Bartomeu's decision not to resign, saying he too had been charged in two cases and not resigned.
Bartomeu had launched a strong defence of himself and his club, implying that both Real Madrid and the Spanish government could have had a hand in the decision to press charges against him.
"There are state institutions that don't like what's happening in Barcelona ... allowed the stadium to be used for the Concert for Freedom and played in the colours of the Catalan flag Sep 11 and maybe that didn't go down well. There's a political element to this," he said.