[UPDATE]Quick Note: Busquets’ Comment

Isaiah will be up with your preview shortly and Kevin has already told you the amazing news that Abidal has been cleared to practice (though he is unlikely to play this weekend due to fatigue issues). Unfortunately the biggest news of the days is the ongoing saga of Sergio Busquets’ comment or non-comment to Real Madrid player Marcelo during last week’s Champion’s League Semifinal First Leg.

Preeminent Sports Illustrated and Guardian football columnist Sid Lowe came away believing the weight of the evidence from Pep’s press conference today all but confirmed that some comments were made. From Pep at his press conference (translated), emphasis on the most interesting comments:

“I know these players. They are an example of professionalism,” said the Barcelona coach. “They love this sport. Some of them, during the game, can make a mistake but as players they are exemplary both for Spain and for Barcelona.”

Asked if he would punish Busquets he said: “We are not proud when they make mistakes but I know these players. If we do something wrong, then Uefa have to decide. What is in the past is in the past. It won’t happen again.”

From his Twitter, @sidlowe:

Pep Guardiola’s comments tonight appeared to confirm Busquets racist remark did happen. So, action presumably will (and should) happen

1. Let me clarify for those who don’t seem to understand ‘appeared to confirm’. Pep did not say Busquets made racist remarks, but asked

2. directly about it, he didn’t deny it and said that his players can make mistakes on pitch and are not proud of those mistakes.

3. It would of course still be helpful to have an explicit admittance/denial, though.

Many suggesting alternative interprets. There’s a certain ambiguity but i think what Pep said (and didnt say) implies confirmation

Mr. Lowe has never been one to pull punches, engage in oversimplifications, or get carried away with the mob and when he goes out on a limb like this, it usually means there is something to it. I am sure you have watched the video and possible made up your mind. Personally I cannot make up mine, mostly because I do not speak Spanish and am a terrible lip reader.

Until we know more, this blog will continue to operate under the familiar guise of “guilty until proven innocent” for Busquets. I would hope that a full investigation is under way by UEFA and the club and that if he is found to have been innocent, then Madrid should be punished for such lies, because falsely calling someone a racist is abhorrent. However, if Busquets did make these comments, then I believe he should be fined, made to offer a proper apology, and suspended or removed from the team. I personally vote for removal, since we have so many players from different nationalities, specifically 2 Brazilians, a Malawian, and I have no idea how he could look them in the eye again. But, I am not the final arbiter there, that is Sandro and Pep and his teammates. If they can forgive him, then that is excellent for them and I would hope he could continue as a productive member of the team, though I doubt I could forgive him (not that anyone cares about my forgiveness)

But make no mistake, racism is intolerable in any form, joking or serious. It has no place in the game or anywhere else for that matter. To be sure we stand by Busquets and the team until proven otherwise, but if the worst is true, then it is an action that should be swiftly condemned and is unacceptable, period. This is just an update of the current situation as it stand. NOTHING IS OFFICIAL YET. Please keep the comments germane, intelligent, and friendly.


This has been transcribed by a friend who watched the press conference:

“Pep was talking about the Pedro incident with regards to the quote “We are not proud when they make mistakes, but I know these players….etc”. He was asked by a lady who asked him what he thought about Pedro! grabbing his face. She outright called it pathetic and Pep said they weren’t proud but it’s in the past and he knows his players.”

Apparently, it’s being mixed up with the Busi quote where he was asked what Barca would do if Busi was found guilty:

“If proven guilty, we would take appropriate measures, but the players are honest”

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  1. I reserve judgement. It is “innocent until proven guilty” for me. This is a serious matter and not one where I’ll go postal because of one version of a translation. I haven’t seen Pep’s press conference either.

    If he’s guilty, well, what I have to say won’t be kid friendly.

    • Vj
      May 2, 2011

      You could add APA’s version of Pep’s translation..

      • Barcaleya
        May 2, 2011

        VJ – I asked this in the previous post:

        Was Pep’s comment in direct response to a question on Busquet and the racial slur?

        • Vj
          May 2, 2011

          I dunno, I just copy pasted from Sid’s Article.

  2. mardia
    May 2, 2011

    Thank you for this post. I would hope that any player would have the sense/common decency not to stoop this low, but if it is true, he needs to be fined/removed from the team, because it wasn’t just Marcelo he was insulting, it was his black teammates, and indeed, his entire team.

    I said this in the other post, but personally, regardless of innocence/guilt, I hope he doesn’t play tomorrow. It’d be an incredibly inflammatory move to have him there, and frankly, it’d be insulting to RM/Marcelo. (Yes, I know, RM have pulled some crappy moves in the last week, but this goes beyond petty complaints about diving/fouling.) If we can put Keita in the lineup instead, then I think we should.

  3. Humphrey Bogart
    May 2, 2011

    I really like Sid Lowe and follow his columns in Guardian and SI, but from everything I read I think he tends to fall very quickly into the Mou-/EE trap. I am not sure if his interpretation is the correct one.

    Until now only 2 people know what exactly has happened, the two players and until none of them declares himself we can not know for sure what happened.

  4. footballfan
    May 2, 2011

    Any news about UEFA decision yet? It seems to take forever.

    • Para
      May 2, 2011

      UEFA said they were dismissing Barcelona and RM’s complaints after a meeting this morning. That was (as far as I know) in relation to the suspensions they requested for eight players.

      With regards to the Busquets allegations, I don’t know. I’ve read in various places that RM’s complaint to UEFA didn’t address racism, but I haven’t read the complaint itself, so I don’t know.

      I don’t know if UEFA have opened another case to address the issue separately.

  5. I got this from a friend who watched the press conference:

    “Pep was talking about the Pedro incident with regards to the quote “We are not proud when they make mistakes, but I know these players….etc”. He was asked by a lady who asked him what he thought about Pedro! grabbing his face. She outright called it pathetic and Pep said they weren’t proud but it’s in the past and he knows his players.”

    Apparently, it’s being mixed up with the Busi quote where he was asked what Barca would do if Busi was found guilty:

    “If proven guilty, we would take appropriate measures, but the players are honest.”

    • Humphrey Bogart
      May 2, 2011

      And just like that it is a 360 degree u-turn

      • Vj
        May 2, 2011

        You know its not a U-turn if you turn by 360 degrees right?

    • Nav
      May 2, 2011

      Thank you.

      Guilty before proven innocent?

    • jordi™
      May 2, 2011

      :O well i said the same thing on the last page

      “When i listened to the presser I am 100 % certain the last part about mistakes was about pedro holding his face.Im fairly certain if Pep confirmed anything about busi making racist claims MArca and AS would Make that their headline.Whatever, when i find the full video im gonna listen again and post it.”

      Sport have the transcript from the presser here:

      Im waiting to find the video later but I’ve got to study so maybe someone else might find it later.

    • Barcaleya
      May 2, 2011

      That’s what I was trying to get at, Kari.

      We have to know whether what Pep said was in direct reference to Busquet and the apparent racial slur. The article I read didn’t show that. It was quoted in isolation and it could have referred to so many things. As apparently – it was in reference to Pedro and not to Busi.

      That makes a huge difference.

      Any Spanish speaker here? Please listen to Pep’s presser and write down in sequence what was asked and what he answered.

      Sometimes, people hear what they want to hear. I don’t need Sid Lowe to make interpretations. He just needs to clarify whether what Pep said is in direct reference to Busi and the racial allegation.

      • Sometimes, people hear what they want to hear. I don’t need Sid Lowe to make interpretations. He just needs to clarify whether what Pep said is in direct reference to Busi and the racial allegation.

        Yes. Exactly, Barcaleya.

  6. Humphrey Bogart
    May 2, 2011

    But one thing is for sure, this thing goes completly out of hand and the club should make an official statement, guilty or not. Silence will inflame accusations and everything even more.

  7. Nav
    May 2, 2011

    Wait, why is he guilty until proven innocent? I think that’s more abhorrent than racism.

  8. soccermomof4
    May 2, 2011

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, and I expect to be crucified for it by y’all but here goes:

    I won’t pretend, as a white girl, to understand any pain that racism has caused anyone. If proven guilty he should be punished. He should apologize publicly, fined, and miss games. It should not be swept under the carpet. BUT. Who among us hasn’t said something absolutely stupid? Who hasn’t said something offensive? Who hasn’t said something they will regret forever? Should his career be effectively ruined because of one episode? IF Alves, the King, and Keita can forgive him, THEN I’m willing to. I’m not saying that he would ever be may favorite player, heck, he was far from it before now. But the stones should only be thrown by those of us who are perfect. It’s intolerable but there should be some room for grace in our hearts.

    *goes and hides under rock waiting for the outrage and hoping that people read my whole post and know me well enough by now to know that I don’t stand for any kind of racism*

    • Nav
      May 2, 2011

      It’s about setting an example more than forgiveness. A line must be drawn sometimes to let people know what we will and will not tolerate. Racism should not be tolerated. We can forgive him, but his punishment should be removal from the team.

      This is of course if he’s proven guilty as I don’t buy into this ‘guilty until there’s good evidence showing otherwise’ bullshit.

      • soccermomof4
        May 2, 2011

        If everyone who ever said 1 thing(repeat offenses are another thing entirely) offensive on the pitch were removed from the club, I bet we would be watching knitting competitions because there would be nobody left to play soccer.

        Remember, I want an example made out of him IF proven guilty.

        • soccermomof4
          May 2, 2011

          by the club I mean any and all club

          • soccermomof4
            May 2, 2011

            Yes, but for the first offense, not expulsion. A serious punishment, but not something permanemt.

            As a mom, I punish to teach a lesson, to change a behavior, not to hurt.

        • Nav
          May 2, 2011

          We should only make an example out of him if he is proven guilty, I agree.

        • Nav
          May 2, 2011

          **This is assuming he is found guilty**

          There are degrees of offences. Racism is one of the worst for a sportsman, in my opinion. Not only does he damage the reputation of the club and anyone associated with it (including other players), he’s also setting a very bad example for kids. I hate pulling the “THINK OF THE KIDS” card, but as a professional football player for FC Barcelona, he is a role model for millions and millions of children. As such, it’s his responsibility to live up to that role.

          On top of that, what is the message the club is sending if they let Busquets stay on the team? When Messi and Abidal go out and campaign for Fifa’s anti-racism message, how hypocritical does it look when we keep Busquets in our team, someone who is a proven racist?

          This is all assuming he is proven guilty of course.

          • soccermomof4
            May 2, 2011

            OK, hate me now, but does one comment in the heat of one of the ugliest/ most morbo filled games of soccer ever played make him a racist? Yes, I know we could argue that the comment would have had to come from somewhere preformed in his psyche. He works every day with Alves, Keita, Adriano,and Abi, have they noticed this? I will go with their reaction because they will know the player and his heart better.

          • Nav
            May 2, 2011

            Lol, well, I don’t think anyone’s going to hate you for asking these question Soccermomof4.

            I don’t think it makes someone a racist for making one racist comment, no. But that’s just my opinion. Ask someone else and they will say yes it does. After all, if you murder someone are you not a murderer? I think labelling someone a ‘racist’ is only fair if their actions are coloured by racial discrimination, and in this case I don’t think Busi’s is. As you say, we all say things in the heat of the moment that we don’t mean. But it matters not how you or I see it.

            How the world is going to see it when a Barcelona player utters a racial expletive and then Barcelona still keeps him on the team?

          • soccermomof4
            May 2, 2011

            Thanks, Nav. I’m approaching this from a mom’s perspective. Moms are used to having kids disappoint us. If moms used the 1 strike and your out criteria, all kids would be kicked out by their terrible twos. Certainly none would survive the teenage years. Maybe truth(as in his true character(and if his true character is racist then kick him to the curb)) and forgiveness can be worthy ideals as well and maybe more important than what the world thinks of the club

          • Helge
            May 2, 2011

            I won’t hate you now, soccermomof4, because I think pretty much the same as you 🙂

            I’ve never heard of any racist comments from Busquets before this match, and the last 3 Clásicos were probably one of the dirtiest series of football matches ever, just like you said.
            It certainly was in the heat of the moment. It’s the same kind of heat that would make me want to punch Mourinho in his face, to tackle Crynaldo in a maleficent way.
            I’m not an aggressive person, I’ve never been into a fight with someone, not even as a kindergarten kid or in elementary school.
            But the recent incidents with Real make me explode innerly, and in such a situation, anything can happen. I’m dreaming of having the martial arts skills of Brcue Lee and showcase them to some EEers.

            Financial punishment, some games banned from either club or the UEFA is okay, but I would never remove him from the team forever because of a single outburst.
            I mean, even if you kill someone in the heat of the moment, it counts as an extenuating circumstance and you might only get 5 years. Should we effectively kill his carreer that would otherwise be supposed to last for another 12 years or so?
            That is in no relation to each other, example made out of it or not.

          • Nav
            May 2, 2011

            I get the heat of the moment thing.

            But these guys are paid millions and millions of dollars and are held to a higher set of responsibilities and expectations.

    • Jose
      May 2, 2011

      How can you confuse me with Josep? I would be ashamed to write the comments he posts… One day, I would like Josep to write his comments properly. Me? Please don’t call me arrogant, but I made that comment and I think I’m a special one.

      • Miguel
        May 2, 2011

        How do I make the “laugh out loud” smiley face?


        Is this it?

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        May 2, 2011

        Oh my God, Jose… 😯

        I love you… you ARE the Special One, not Josep…

        and where’s Josep?

        • soccermomof4
          May 2, 2011

          I learned the bold, italic, strike thing a few days back. I need a primer on smiling faces please.

          My head is hurting from morbo. My heart is hurting from allegations. I need a diversion.

  9. Ryan
    May 2, 2011

    I don’t follow those who say Busi put his mouth over his hand to hide his words. People also do that to make themselves better heard! I also abide by the the “innocent until proven guilty” way of thinking, especially since it doesn’t even look like the last syllable was an “o.” Maybe he said “toma” (take that) instead?

    • Barcaleya
      May 2, 2011

      I agree. You don’t cover your mouth to hide what you’re saying. You do that to make yourself better heard.

      • culegirl3
        May 3, 2011

        Sometimes they cover their mouths so the television stations wont transcribe what ever they players/coaches are saying. If you notice Mourinho during games, he covers his mouth sometimes when he’s talking to Karanka or who ever.
        It could be either situation, him saying something that he doesn’t want people to know about or making himself more audible to Marcelo.

        The video is unclear, even for a Spanish speaker like myself. For Madrid to use the video without any audio confirmation or Marcelo’s confirmation is a disgrace. If he would have called Marcelo a monkey, he would have brought the world on Busquets for sure.

    • He was saying “moc, moc” Ryan. 😉

      On a more serious note, I watched it several times, the last syllable looked like an “a” to me…

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        May 2, 2011

        Jncie said he saw a “P” not “M” on Busi’s mouth…

        so I assume it’s POO POO…. 😆

      • sathompson1
        May 3, 2011

        I agree completely, and I’m surprised that no one else has pointed out that it doesn’t look at all like Sergi said “mono mono”(at least I’m surprised that no one has pointed it out on a Barca site. I would expect the rest of the media to lap up the scandal without question).

        Like someone pointed out above, I also saw a “p” rather than an “n,” and the last syllable definitely didn’t look like an “o.” You don’t have to be a lip reader…If someone makes an “o” sound, their lips will make a circular shape. Sergi’s didn’t. His comment also had the wrong number of syllables for “mono mono,” and he wasn’t covering his mouth with his hand either. If he was, you wouldn’t have been able to read his lips in the first place! Come on people…

  10. PhepheSa
    May 2, 2011

    If Sid messed that up i will lose all respect i had for the man. Him and Tim Stannard are the only journos I trust. Sometimes i don’t agree with their views but i think they try to be unbiased, so i’d be very disappointed if he got this wrong with so much at stake.

  11. BA
    May 2, 2011

    i have very little doubt that the Madrid media arm are more than capable of trumping up some false “proof” of one of our players’ alleged “indiscretions”; but SHOULD this turn out to be true (and Pep’s comments in response have been disturbingly telling) Busquets needs to face a SERIOUS punishment. his on-pitch conduct of late has been seriously over-the-top and demeaning to the club as a whole, and i say that as someone who’s been defending our players’ overemphasizing of challenges in the past few Clasicos. the kid needs a serious attitude adjustment in general but racism, in any form, cannot ever be tolerated at this of all clubs.

    be interested to hear Kxevin’s take on this.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 2, 2011

      “If proven guilty, we would take appropriate measures, but the players are honest/sincere.”

      that’s what Pep said about Busi’s issue…

      Luke, can you edit your article?

  12. PhepheSa
    May 2, 2011

    I want this thing to end now, thank God for tomorrow. I’ve never been so emotionally drained by sport as i’ve been these past few weeks. I just want the season to end now, this series has left a very bad taste in my mouth. I don’t even have any emotions for tomorrow’s game. Win or lose i want this to be over.

  13. Also, you guys do know that Alves suffered racist abuse last week too right? And this is confirmed by Graham Hunter:

    samaning sammyv
    @BumperGraham was there any monkey chants at the bernabau tonight?
    27 Apr
    in reply to ↑

    Graham Hunter
    @samaning the worst I have ever heard anywhere. An utter scandal.

    • Para
      May 2, 2011

      I saw this last week, and it’s deplorable that it wasn’t mentioned in the referees report, especially if it was heard sufficiently for Hunter to mention it.

      I don’t think it’s relevant to this discussion though, other than to say that the club (and us, as its supporters) should hold ourselves to the standards that we expect from other people. In my personal opinion, that means zero tolerance.

      • I think it is relevant, Para.

        We’re only talking about one side of the story — if Busi is guilty. There is an equal (if not more, IMO, but that’s neither here nor there for the time being) chance of him not being guilty.

        If Busi is NOT guilty, what does this say about EE, whose racist fans have been confirmed? They put this video on their official website AND labelled the video as Busi saying, “mono, mono” to Marcelo.


        As well as the manipulated Alves red card video (because Alves is superhuman and can move his leg in midair) attacking tomorrow’s ref.

        This is serious business. Racism is not a joke. It’s either or, not fudging around to sully the name of their bitter rivals. As an institution, a club of high stature, they are putting their heads out that Busi DID say “mono” even though it hasn’t been confirmed. What HAS been confirmed is that they have fans making racist chants in their stadium. How can we take them seriously?

        • Para
          May 2, 2011

          I see your point, and I think you are right. I was thinking of it only from a perspective of trying to mitigate what they say Busquets have said. I hadn’t thought about it in the way you did, and should have.

          • I’ve said since the Alves manipulated video that anything that comes out is bullsh*t until proven legitimate. This is what’s going on.

            I’ve never taken them seriously, but if we’re bringing such a heavy case up, we need to include this as well. They’re taking this to another level and they need to be held accountable if this proves false. There is no half-assing, “oh well, I thought he said…” No. You brought this up and you better be sure you’re right.

            Considering they added in the Alves video, tells you that they aren’t posting the video because they’re confident about it and they consulted lip readers, but because they have gone THAT low. We need to take that into account as well.

            For all the crap Busi deservingly gets, I’ll stand by him on this one. Fudge him to heck if he said it, but considering people are taking out frames to make us seem like cheaters, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

          • Para
            May 2, 2011

            I’m with you entirely on benefit of the doubt. Until someone can confirm that what he did or did not say (and for me that means either Pep on his behalf, Busquets himself, or Marcelo), he didn’t do it.

  14. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 2, 2011

    Pep : “If a Barça player said anything racist, we would be VERY UPSET and we woul TAKE MEASURES. But I know my players and they’re sincere.”

    from Barcelona The Offside twitter, a native Spanish speaker…

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 2, 2011

      please edit your article Luke… 🙂

      “We are not proud when they make mistakes but I know these players. If we do something wrong, then Uefa have to decide. What is in the past is in the past. It won’t happen again.”

      that’s his comment about Pedro, not Busquets…

  15. Dani_el
    May 2, 2011

    MOMO. m. Gesto o mueca que se hace para divertir.
    Gesture one does to amuse.
    Momo : “it means something like faulty, defective, or jerk (tonto, memo)”
    I found this, I really havent heard it before, he was trying to hide with his hand from the referee…I dont think he would call him “mono”, knowing how racial slurs have caused so much offense and trouble to Alves, Abi, Keita, Henry, he’s not that stupid.
    And from I read on Sport, Guardiola acknowledged the teams “mistakes” speaking about Pedro’s “simulation”.
    If he says “I know my players” I think he means, ” I know him, and he wouldn’t do that.”

    • Ryan
      May 2, 2011

      Interesting, I hadn’t heard that word before, but then again, I haven’t lived in Barcelona for years. Kinda sounds like “haciendo el bobo” to me.

  16. Jnice
    May 2, 2011

    Sigh, I’m sorry, but I listened to the press conference and Pep did not “appear” to confirm anything.

    Sid is great and all, but people are too quick to believe everything he says. He can be very annoying sometimes and this is one of those times. Everyone is running with this now b/c Sid commented on it. How can one journalist have so much clout?

    I can’t criticize Busquets until I get further confirmation. Sid giving his opinion on what Pep’s words meant isn’t it.

    I’ll try and post the full conference as soon as I find links.

    • barcarolle
      May 2, 2011

      Sid wasn’t even at the bloody press conference. I like Sid, but he’s jumped the gun here and it’s showing.

        • barcarolle
          May 2, 2011

          Just go to his exchange with Andy Mitten on twitter (it’s 7 hours ago). It seems to confirm that he wasn’t physically there.

          Having said all this, perhaps I’ve jumped the gun and he’s watched the press conference on television or heard it on the radio? He is a professional journalist after all and this must be getting huge coverage in Spain so I can’t imagine it would be that difficult.

          Either way, the point still stands that he’s mis-judged this one, and people should not be so quick to turn to Sid as a deity. He is a fine journalist, but this does not make him exempt from scrutiny, especially given the complex and highly sensitive topic we’re dealing with.

          • Agreed 100%.

            He’s a journo too, an incredibly good one, but a journo nonetheless. A lot of it seems to be his own interpretation and not actually what Pep said.

            I just want the full press conference to be uploaded so I can watch it myself.

  17. Lev
    May 2, 2011

    Soccermomo I am with you!

    To call for a removal of a player because of a racial slur said in the heat of a very heated battle is just ridiculous.

    The political correctness brigade is as always very quick to judge but I wonder among how many different creeds and colors they have actually grown up – and I don’t mean at your multicultural university where everybody is educated and respectful of each other.

    I am not saying you are wrong in condemning a player for racial slurs nor that the player should not be punished, but to remove him? Come on that’s just….well. If King Eric took offense, let him punch Busi on his nose once or twice and then we can keep on playing!

    Racism comes in many guises and it is not always the person who says a racial slur who has racist opinions – some might simply not control their tongue or add the same weight to certain words as others do.

    If he he did call Marcelo a monkey he must apologize both publicly and to his teammates.

    I don’t know about apologizing to Marcelo.
    I haven’t heard any calls for him to apologize for stomping on Pedro’s foot (physical violence with the intent and result of injuring another human being trumps nasty words imo).

    And on the basis of the video I saw I doubt he actually said momo.

    • Lev
      May 2, 2011

      PS – Before y’all jump on my neck, I would be VERY DISAPPOINTED if he actually did call him monkey!

      • Lev
        May 2, 2011

        PPS – I was just copying people writing momo thinking that it must be a Spanish thing (as in Spanish from Spain). Apparently the accusation is indeed mono.

    • Helge
      May 2, 2011

      Abidal punching Busi on his nose twice is probaly also the end of Busi’s carreer – did you see the muscular body og Abidal in the post before this? 😀

      • Helge
        May 2, 2011

        Combined with Busi being made out of glass, of course.

        That’s probaly also why he play acts so much, the slightest touch or breeze of wind hurts his body…

  18. May 2, 2011

    I posted this earlier in another post, but I want to say it again:

    I don’t think he said mono, because he makes two “m” movements with his mouth, which leads me to believe he said another spanish curse word “mamon” which means… well I don’t think I can type that here. but it’s not a racist insult.

  19. Jnice
    May 2, 2011

    What I wrote on Twitter during Pep’s press conference:

    -He was speaking English, so it wasn’t really clear, but he said the players are professionals who represent great sporting values.

    -He said if it is proven Busquets said racist remarks, they would take some decisions, but the players are honest.
    -Damn, this lady just asked Pep what he thought about Pedro grabbing his face- she called it pathetic for a grown man to do.

    – He said it’s in the past, but he did say that hopefully it won’t happen again.

    • Yeah, my friend said the same thing.

      I like Sid, he’s a brilliant football writer, and I hope he’s not trying to put a spin on this. We need exact words, not an interpretation. This is serious. If he’s saying this and he wasn’t at the press conference…

      • Jnice
        May 2, 2011

        Nope he wasn’t there, here’s the exchange between Sid and Andy Mitten:

        How is it? RT @AndyMitten: At Camp Nou press conference ahead of Barcav Madrid. Not seen so many journalists in a decade covering Barca

        @sidlowe Not the same without you. Pep said he’s willing to wait an extra hour for you to get here.

        @AndyMitten Heh heh, tell him not to bother…

    • Jnice
      May 2, 2011

      The ————— separates the two questions. The first was on Busquets, second on Pedro.

  20. bridgette
    May 2, 2011

    My Spanish isn’t fantastic, but, from this transcript: *http://www.sport.es/es/endirecto.shtml

    20:51 Pregunta sobre el racismo de que acusan a Busquets…
    Question about the racism Busquets was accused of…

    Conozco muy bien a estos jugadores y son un ejemplo de profesionalidad, les encanta el deporte, jugar para la gente y no dudo que algunos pueden cometer errores pero son un ejemplo como jugadores del Barça y de la selección
    I know these players very well and they are an example of professionalism, they love the sport, they play for the people and no doubt sometimes they can make errors, but they are an example as both Barca and seleccion players.

    20:55 Pregunta. Si se prueban los insultos racistas, qué hará el club?
    Question. If the racist insults are proven, what would the club do?

    Estaríamos muy molestos, no estaríamos orgullosos y tomaríamos medidas
    We would be very bothered, we wouldn’t be proud, and we would take action.

  21. Moose
    May 2, 2011

    Are we seriously this gullible?

    This from the same team who employed a strategy of winning at all costs including stepping on opposition players, elbowing players, using substitutes the influence the referee, purposely injure players because they’re upset about losing, and then turn around and act with phony indignation about fair play?

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    This from the same club who’s using video evidence that’s doctored. From the same club whose mouthpiece websites edit players out of photos, draw crooked lines to show fake offsides.

    They’ve proven they’ll do anything to win, including cheat. Yet we’re scrambling to defend their accusation?

    They JUST laughably reported 8 of our players to UEFA for unsportsmanlike conduct after their campaign of provocations and kicking and diving and we’re going to allow them to accuse us of racism?

  22. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 2, 2011

    I understand the potential seriousness for such an incident, but is it really necessary for this entire blog (including posters) to cover the Busquets incident so much?

    I’m sitting here unnecessarily depressed reading this blog about an incident that may of may not be true.

    I’d rather we move onto more interesting topics leading up to our last classico (eg. Abidal’s return). We shouldn’t be sitting here discussing about ‘evidence’ that has not been proven truthful and cannot be proven by us either.

  23. SoccerMom
    May 3, 2011

    This is a long-abandoned thread but I haven’t been able to get here until now. I think we need to be realistic here.

    First: Sergio Busquets did not call Marcelo ‘momo’. He called him ‘mono’. This is clear from the video: a bilabial occlusive followed by a front dental articulation.

    Second: Nobody calls anybody a ‘momo’. He called him ‘mono’, or ‘monkey’. This is a racial slur.

    Third: Sergio Busquets did not put his hand to his mouth in order to make his voice louder to Marcelo. He put his hand to his mouth because he knows, just like the coaches on the bench and the partners on a free kick, that thousands of cameras are trained on him and he didn’t want his comments heard by the refs or decoded by the press.

    Fourth: Sergio Busquets did not call Marcelo ‘mono’ in the heat of the moment. He does not appear angry, or flustered, or even particularly excited in the video (unlike, say, Xabi Alonso at the end of the first half). He calls Marcelo ‘mono’ deliberately in order to irritate Marcelo and provoke unsportsmanlike conduct on Marcelo’s behalf.

    Fifth: There is no way Sergio Busquets is going to be removed from Barcelona FC. They made him, they broke him in, they bought him. He is a principal on a World-Cup winning national team, he is a starter on one of the best soccer teams in Europe, and he is one of the top midfielders in the world. He also has family ties to FCB. I would be very suprised at an official complaint, no matter how justified, from Marcelo himself or, more likely, Real Madrid’s behalf, simply because I would imagine that a lot of stuff gets said on a field that no one wants anyone else to know about.

    I disagree with PJ O’Rourke on just about everything, but his quote (on drug use among professional athletes) is relevant:

    “True, children look up to professional athletes. But children are short and look up to everything.”

    If we want to discuss this matter — or any matter — let us do so, but let us do so honestly.

    • sathompson1
      May 3, 2011

      I’m sorry, Soccermom, but I just watched the video again after reading your post and I’m really not seeing “mono” there. I see a “p” and an “a,” and it looks like the wrong number of syllables for “mono mono,” as has been reported. I don’t know what a “bilabial occlusive followed by a front dental articulation” is, but I just don’t see the word “mono” in there.

      Are you an experienced lip reader? If I’m wrong, I’m willing to admit I’m wrong, but I don’t think that the people who are claiming he didn’t say “mono” are engaged in any kind of intellectual dishonesty. I think they’re just observing the same things I’ve mentioned here. The clip I’m looking at is on whoateallthepies .tv, and my observations are based on the end of the clip when they show the comment in slow motion.

      Any thoughts from anyone else? I guess it’s too much to hope that we have any experienced lip readers who have read this far into the comments section 🙂

      • blitzen
        May 3, 2011

        Well, I’m neither an experienced lip reader nor fluent in Spanish, but on this occasion I must also disagree with SoMa. I have watched the video several times, and whatever Busquets is saying, I don’t believe it is “mono”. You simply can’t make an “m” sound by smacking your lips together. He may very well have said something nasty, but I am 100% certain it wasn’t “mono”. That’s just my take. We will likely never know for sure.

  24. Para
    May 3, 2011

    Also, with regards to what everyone is saying about Sid Lowe’s ‘interpretation’ of Guardiola’s press conference, see bridgette’s post above in which she (? assumption!) translates his answer to the question about Busquets. If that is what the transcript says, then he’s not really interpreting incorrectly.

  25. Judas Pissed
    May 3, 2011

    Pathetic. EE accuse our players of racism & we believe it. EE are a joke – trying everything to discredit us. Don’t fall for this wormtongue nonsense!

  26. I like this blog, I really do, but I am utterly disappointed at it by this post. Do you realize you are crucifying a player (actually you asking for his career to be finished!!!!) just based on an unproven accusation made by somebody related to Real Madrid, a club that’s been spitting all kinds of crap against Barça this past few days?
    I guess it may be you have a very “thin skin” (as we say in Catalan) regarding to racism issues due to your history and I understand it may “touch your fivers”. But at least try to be objective and wait until the accusation is proven or disclaimed before ruining somebody’s life.
    Guilty until is proven otherwise? What kind of crappy sense of justice is that? The Inquisition manual? “Let’s throw the old lady to the river to see if she floats as a proof of witchcraft” kind of thing?
    If he really said some nasty things, let’s talk about it. Until then… it’s football.

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