In a mud field, everybody gets dirty

Let me state this without fear of equivocation, to make sure there is no reading between the lines, no interpretative hooraw:

It is impossible for me to hate That Other Spanish Team any more than I do right now.

Just so we’re clear.

For those who have been sleeping on the news, Sergi Busquets has been cleared of all charges by UEFA, and will be playing in the Champions League final against Manchester United.

Whether justice has been done (some say) or “He knows what he did” (one BritJourno says, aping the worldviews of others) doesn’t matter. Not to me. I’ve been clear on this from the outset.

But That Club has managed to comport itself in such a vile, disgusting way that it is impossible to feel anything other than revulsion for it right now.

Make no mistake, when I became a cule, I began to dislike them. When I became a soci I grew to hate them. At present, I don’t have an appropriate word for the emotions that said entity rouses in me.

Because what it has done is the equivalent of a spoiled child who loses as checkers, then name-calls because he is upset. Because they couldn’t handle their business on the pitch, we became cheats, divers and racists. How dare they allege that WE have committed unsporting actions?

In the dimwitted, reprehensible, ultimately Pyrrhic war they have waged in the media in the wake of getting their asses handed to them this season, they have damaged us, themselves and Spanish football as a whole. Instead of two of the best club sides in the world, we are laughingstocks.

Nice work, idiots.

When we hung losses on previous EE coaches they took their lumps, did the press conferences and vowed to work harder. Like men. Then they were fired. In 2009, we hung a 2-6 on them in their house, and here’s an excerpt from one press report after the match:

XXXX coach Juande Ramos said Barça deserved to win.

“We have lost a lot of the hope we had about winning the league,” he said. “We still have to put all our effort into the competition. Of course it’s difficult and much more difficult than before.”

What would their coach say in the here and now? After the manita he was reasonably gracious, because he could afford to be. Nothing had been decided yet. In the wake of the home draw that effectively decided the Liga, and our eliminating them in the Champions League, the kid gloves came off.

–We were cheats and divers, disreputable, unsporting louts.
–We’re in cahoots with UEFA to win matches.
–Sergi Busquets said racist things to Marcelo.
–It didn’t bring the allegations against us. UEFA decided in its wisdom to pursue them on their own. Besides, Barça started it. And yet, the UEFA document concerning the decision states very clearly, “The report lodged by XXXX XXXXXX CF concerning racial abuse against Marcelo by FC Barcelona player Sergio Busquets has been dismissed due to a lack of strong and convincing evidence.”

Yes, the racism allegation is the one that has generated the most commentary and discussion in these parts. But as a collective grouping, That Club should feel shame. It should apologize to us, Marcelo, Busquets and all of world football. Simply put, a world-class club isn’t supposed to act like that. It doesn’t matter if that club has world-class players on the pitch, because on the pitch is only part of the battle.

The other part is how a club comports itself off the pitch, and after matches. What did Arbeloa say to Keita, that drove the preternaturally calm Malian midfielder to violence and caused our reserve keeper, Pinto, to come to his aid/defense? Good question. Some have suggested that it was a racist slur. Keita hasn’t said anything, however, and neither has the club. No press releases, no UEFA complaints, no official statements on the club Web site.

Whether this is right or wrong is immaterial. This isn’t the time nor place for a discussion about whether Keita should have reported the incident, had one occurred. And I don’t even want to get into the Marcelo inci …. yes, I do.

There is an old joke that a man is asked about whether he beats his wife by asking him “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” The joke is that the question is impossible to answer because however you answer, you’re an abuser. No. Wife beating isn’t funny. Far from it. But as with the way they leveled the racism charge at Busquets and tangentially at the club, it is fundamentally impossible to deal with, unless done immediately.

As I’ve previously discussed, the club didn’t and the train of public opinion went berserk. The BritPress say we’re racists, self-serving crap that is rooted in the fact that we will be able to field our strongest club for the CL Final, which might once again damage their puff-chested claims that the Premiership play the best football ever witnessed by modern man.

“He got away with one,” many will claim. For me, that isn’t the point. We don’t know, and we will never know. It’s “he said, he said,” in a case that wasn’t proved to a degree sufficient to satisfy UEFA. The point is that those vicious, sore-losing spoilsports weren’t content with losing on the pitch. They wanted to make us lose off the pitch, to taint our victories in a way that made it clear that (to them and their supporters) the best team didn’t win, that were it not for all the conspiracies, racism and diving, justice would have been done.

And that is just wrong. I don’t mean wrong, prima facie. I mean morally wrong, and a violation of every tenet of good sportsmanship. When we were defeated by them in the Plat del Reig final, we moved on. We congratulated them, and moved on. Could we have said it was more rugby match than football match, cried to the Liga to investigate and called them bullies, thugs and heinous miscreants? Sure. But thankfully, that isn’t how we roll.

I said before in a previous thread, that no matter what happens, we shouldn’t let this campaign of theirs bear fruit in damaging our view of our club, and dividing us as cules. I still believe that. I know that people think that I believe that Busquets did it, am on a soapbox, have “personal problems,” blahblahblahblah. Don’t let them win. If we let them win, everyone loses.

They might yet issue a very public apology, but I doubt it. I don’t see the club that has behaved in the way that one has, apologizing for anything. But just as our club should have said something in the Busquets matter immediately, That Club should have already apologized. It should have been done weeks ago.

It was the heat of the moment, 4 Clasics in a row that spawned so much hate that people aren’t behaving normally. No. Wrong. It isn’t our fault that they spent so much money for so many players with so little result, then spent even more on a coach who was supposed to get the most from all that money. And let’s be clear about this, we aren’t innocent, either. We embellished fouls, and went down as if thunderstruck from the slightest contact. We, too, owe some folks some apologies for those incidents, for doing a disservice to the beautiful game that we play 99.9 percent of the time.

That probably ain’t gonna happen, either. And not to excuse our club, but the actions of two players during that one match don’t weigh on the collective negative karma like the nonsense that they have perpetrated. Were we right not to fight fire with fire, tooth and nail? Yes, even though I believe we erred in not quashing the Busquets business immediately.

But as my mother always says, the best view is from the high road.

Speaking of ass ….

Next season’s home shirt has been leaked. It was for sale and on full view at the Nike e-commerce site. It has since been yanked down, so forgive me for not putting up a pic of it. Actually, don’t forgive me. It’s asstastic, an ocular abomination made even worse by the immense, gold “Qatar Foundation” on the front of it. We could have had a picture of two dogs humping on the front and it would have been more palatable to me than the living, silkscreened embodiment of a club that sold its soul for a few bucks.

How does it look? T-shirt collar, closely grouped stripes, blaugrana prison stripes say those poetic types who feel like just a little bit of the club’s soul is being held prisoner for as long as Qatar Foundation remains on the front of our shirt.

Finally

From a Twitter follower: What I get out of this is both clubs do not think racism is a serious issue, by their actions and statements & that saddens me.

That is the lingering effect in the wake of this Busquets crap. And it underscores my rage. Some believe it should “Yay, for us! He isn’t racist, didn’t say those things and we can go back to being Barça. Yay for us!” Not so fast. This club will never be the same again to many cules, because there has been an unseemly incident introduced by those allegations. As everyone knows, clubs can start black players and have racist fans. That isn’t going to change in my lifetime. Maybe the young’uns like Eklavya have a shot at seeing that crap go away. We can remain optimistic.

Player choices are rooted in the expedience of the result-based world of professional football. Barça didn’t start Thuram, Abidal, Eto’o, Henry and The Yaya because it wanted to be a Benetton ad. It started them because they wanted to win matches, and championships. Can this mean that the club felt comfortable starting those players because the stands weren’t teeming with froth-mouthed racists? Absolutely. It can. But it doesn’t necessarily.

This case for me illustrates perfectly why I’m always ambivalent about players. I don’t care about Busquets as a player. It don’t care about any of our players as players. Their results matter to the club, and it is the club that matters to me. So I don’t love or hate Busquets, which makes it easy for me to say that whether he did it or not doesn’t matter. Doubt will always linger in the minds of some, just as a relieved sigh will escape from the lips of others.

What I know is this: Our club has been damaged. In less than a month, we went from being paragons of the Beautiful Game, to cheating, racist scum in too much of the world’s press. Our actions are in part to blame. But to a much larger part, it’s the actions of a vicious, bitter rival that should know better. It probably did know better. And it did know better and still didn’t do the right thing, makes me say damn them. Damn them to hell.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

218 Comments

  1. Judas Pissed
    May 16, 2011

    Nice one Kxevin.

    I will repeat here what I said on an earlier thread – that all the Barca ‘fans’ who were on here presuming Soggy’s guilt now feel rather sheepish & apologetic. There was never ANY doubt that Soggy was innocent – he was accused by the same idiots that accused us of taking performance enhancing drugs for years without a shred of any evidence! EE are major MAJOR scumbags…

    • May 16, 2011

      i wouldn’t be so sure every Cule feels sorry for believing them

      in fact. most i know are just as rabid as before. i dunno what they were expecting, from Uefa of all ‘people’.

      but maybe i just know the wrong cules 🙁

    • Rastogi
      May 17, 2011

      it’s funny how people jump to follow the english press bandwagon and prove anything they say or write is the right is correct.

  2. Vj
    May 16, 2011

    Well they are called the Evil Empire for a reason.

    I remember what a friend of K_legit said that described them to the T:
    ‘You can never guess what they believe’.

    Especially since ‘San’ F###### Iker still refuses to bog down over the Busi issue.

    I feel for Busi. The guy has been wrongfully questioned by even our fans. He is owed an apology..

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah, when I read this:
      Sobre el expediente de Busquets: “Si la UEFA ha tomado esa decisión ellos sabrán lo que han visto. Todo el mundo lo ha visto, pero si la UEFA ha tomado esa decisión, ya está”.
      I had to puke again. I won’t tell here what I think about him, but it completely coincides with my aforementioned irreversivly destroyed relation to them and ever-lasting dislike (gently expressed). And Iker was one of the few sort of classy EEers!

  3. BA
    May 16, 2011

    “How does it look? T-shirt collar, closely grouped stripes, blaugrana prison stripes say those poetic types who feel like just a little bit of the club’s soul is being held prisoner for as long as Qatar Foundation remains on the front of our shirt.”

    i will not purchase another shirt from my beloved club so long as that advertisement has been vomited across our colours.

  4. May 16, 2011

    Well said, as ever. One of my biggest take-aways from this mess, and it gives me no pleasure to say this, is that all those British journos crowing about the state of the Spanish game had a point. Not a huge one, but it cannot be denied that these Clasicos and all the BS that has gone on has, as you rightly said, damaged the image of the game in Spain, and of both clubs, to an extent that is going to be difficult to repair.

    I agree with you that the club should probably have had an earlier, public response to the allegations, but expecting this board to be proactive in asserting the interests of the players as individuals or the team as a whole is a futile exercise, as the past season has shown.

  5. Vj
    May 16, 2011

    Also young’uns like Eklavya 😀

    • Eklavya
      May 16, 2011

      So here I am, reading the post, lalala, and then suddenly I get this heart attack when I see my name a few lines below where I was reading! Had to re-read the paragraph a few times until I was sure that I hadn’t said something stupid before that crept up here. Phew! 😀

      *Wipes off sweat on forehead*

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      Hahaha

  6. May 16, 2011

    Awesome piece, Kxevin. That’s all I’ll say, because you say the rest of it much better than most of us could.

  7. dennise
    May 16, 2011

    Kxevin – be careful – EE will sue you 🙂

    • May 16, 2011

      Will be difficult to prove. Maybe Porto/Mourinho are innocent, and it’s just a maligning campaign…just two more words.

      Poetic justice.

  8. Mila
    May 16, 2011

    Kxevin, it’s a privilege to read your articles.

    The whole issue of post-classico post-mortem is utterly nausea making. Honestly, we all, they-who-will-remain-nameless-cause-this-is-a-family-friendly-site and us. We were both wrong, on so many different levels, professional, but most importantly human level.

    Could we have won if we stood on our feet more? Didn’t fall like dominoes upon a slight breeze? Nobody can tell us now. And could they have been truly “Royal” (in the classy-never-sleazy way)and bowed out in a fashion that would make Di Stefano teary eyed? No one will ever know because we dived, they cheated, lied and soiled something that was meant to live on as the GREATEST TEAM EVER!

    Watching Barca is a privilege, being a cule is gift, a gift that has been sullied in the post-coital sleaze throwing match.

    I am really ashamed to say, but in the past weeks the pleasure of watching my team has been put under strain. Because yes, it matters to me that we never defended ourselves against such serious accusations as racism. We could’ve been silent when they called us divers, we could’ve been silent when Mou said this is all one HUGE CONSPIRACY and he is on to us, but RACISM is not a silent matter… If you are silent you become an accomplice to the greater injustice.

    Does it even matter now if Busquets said it? If he didn’t? All I care about is my club being inept in the face a horrible accusations. Or is it just indifferent? Which one hurts more?

  9. May 16, 2011

    I might be in the minority here, but I find Sid Lowe’s attitude to the whole Busquets saga most appalling. Considering his whole “it’s obvious from Pep’s press conference that he thinks Busi is guilty” stance, the least he could do is to clear the air and say he quoted Pep out of context, or at least properly message that Busquets has been cleared of charges. This is what he says.

    “UEFA says lack of solid, irrefutable proof”

    Irrefutable? I think UEFA said “lack of convincing proof”, and there’s a big difference. Maybe I’m just overreacting, but it really does diminish my respect for him considerably.

    • jordi™
      May 16, 2011

      He was quick to point out Pep “all but confirming” the issue, but where were the tweets when pep said he knows his player and believes him?Its disgraceful that his wrong ‘interpretation’ of Pep words have people and journalists running with that as part of their evidence that Busi was guilty and he never followed up with a clarification.

    • blitzen
      May 16, 2011

      Yup. Sid Lowe has lost a lot of my respect for his handling of the situation. He wasn’t even at that press conference himself, so he was reporting the quotes second-hand. If he had any journalistic integrity he would post a retraction or at least a clarification. His columns have a lot of influence with the British press.

    • jazzler
      May 16, 2011

      Sid has handled the Busquets saga in a fairly shoddy manner. He admits, only later on twitter, that he is quoting stuff second-hand, as he was not present at the press conference, but he offered no retraction, and I think he continues to present Barca as saying Busi made a mistake.

      In terms of his tweeting regarding the ruling by UEFA, I’m just ignoring that. Most coverage on legal processes suck unless the person is actually a lawyer or has spent a lot of time studying/covering legal processes.

      Also, what I would really like to do is have a discussion about how to ACTUALLY combat racism in football. Funny how nobody talks about the fact that people in FIFA/UEFA tend to be old white men, or how the management-the owners, the boards, the presidents of European clubs tend to be old white men. Oh SURELY that is not at ALL a sign of racism, nope. Also funny how chants are mentioned, but no one stops them, there is no no-tolerance policy. It takes a concerted effort ACROSS the clubs and FROM the governing body, ie for Spain- LFP. But since LFP can’t even schedule matches, how do I expect them to combat an oppressive social phenomenon that Spain doesn’t even seem to take seriously?

      I really just need to stop talking about this or my head might explode from all of my disappointment.

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      Yes – I tweeted Sid Lowe about this. Of course he never responded to me.

      I told him it was irresponsible journalism on his part to even write things like “Pep confirmed” the allegation based on this and that when there was NO categorical confirmation.

    • privateeye
      May 18, 2011

      If you know catalan/spanish(or otherwise) can you get your hands on a translation of pep’s interview.

      The import of Pep’s original interview was – “I know my players. A few have made mistakes. They will not repeat them again”. This was contorted to “Busquets has made a mistake. He will not repeat them again”. Guess which is the only paper which gives this version? Guarduan.co.uk. And Sid Lowe writes for this.

      I have followed him for quite some time. His bias is apparent these days. Sad but true. If you summarize all his statements about FCb you will see his bias.

      Ona serious note FCB need a English PR expert. Their translations of interviews are notoriously ambiguos. ANd then we have some clever trying to manipulate knowing that a lot of people do not know catalan or spanish.

  10. dennise
    May 16, 2011

    here is one totally undiscussed idea: don’t you think that Alves did not ask from his teammate at the Brazilian national team, Marcelo, what happened there?

    Whatever Marcelo answered to Alves – judging by celebrations with Busquets – that answer had no affection to Alves.

  11. Helge
    May 16, 2011

    Now that’s the only way to start this article!

    I feel exactly the same, but I could never have expressed it as eloquently as you did, Kxevin.

    It did not only irreversibly destroy my relation to the club EE – I will probably never be able to feel anything but pure, immeasurable detestation for it. The reaction of most of their fans (showing little to none insight that their club is at fault) also threatens the fan relationship. It has always been full of hate, but the last weeks took it to another, almost impossible level. For me, this level of hate will last for some time.
    I didn’t even know that such strong emotions of disgust exist.
    I’m done with them, probably forever!

  12. hammeronmessi
    May 16, 2011

    havent read the post yet.

    just want to say,

    welcome back

  13. May 16, 2011

    QUESTION(S):
    The fact that UEFA didn’t call Busquets to testify means that Marcelo in his statement DID NOT say with certainty that Busquets called him “mono, mono” right?
    Because, the way I see it if Marcelo did state that Busquets DID indeed call him “mono, mono” UEFA would have DEFINITELY called Busquets to give his side of the matter, right?!

    So is it me or did that filthy little club accused someone of racism not only without evidence but without even being sure themselves?!

    • May 16, 2011

      this is how it indeed looks. Marcelo’s statement was deemed as inconclusive as the video is. WHY?

      i’m pretty sure that if Marcelo had said he called me ‘mono’, Uefa would’ve ruled it was racism, regardless of the unclear video.

      so…

    • May 16, 2011

      I forgot to add that (as far as my spanish helped me understand) we as FcBarcelona would have provided evidence in support of Busquets only IF UEFA would admited the evidence as satisfactory in order to open the case. Therefore, UEFA considered the evidence as unsatisfactory even without Busquets statement! *appalled*

  14. May 16, 2011

    absolutely excellent article, mirrors my opinion on the matter to a tee.

    Barca should’ve cleared the air asap. without that, it’ll always look, in the minds of many, that we, as a club, prefer to put a lid on such things rather than expose and make an example out of it.

    this is where the club got it terribly wrong and the one who’s gonna pay for this immense PR fuck up is Busquets. innocent or guilt insufficiently proven, his rep is forever destroyed.

    and yes, many would argue that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, but for those that despise him, look again at Xavi’s intervention during Busquet’s celebration speech. go ahead, watch that video.

    so i’ll say, this is the last thing he needed instead. now we know for sure he will never have the place in Cule hearts like all the others do. sad.

    i dunno who reads this blog, but i’ll say this, with the way the whole thing was handled by EE, i wouldn’t be surprised if everything was simply staged. the initial and wait a minute, only video, was doctored to begin with.

    Uefa deemed Marcelo’s statement inconclusive together with the rest of the evidence, aka the video.

    discredit job, well done by EE.

    upholding their moral values job, terribly accomplished by Barca.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2011

      I really don’t think this will tarnish permanently Busi’s standing with Cules, certainly not the Catalans. He’s a local boy and has already won everything there is to be won at what, 22? Considering this was ultimately a baseless accusation from those in the capital, I don’t think it will forever tar his image in Barcelona.

      I do think this incident is likely to be repeated whenever Barcelona is being commentated on an English channel. They often revert to rants about the Spanish league anyway, this will just be another thing they mention, even without the evidence!

  15. Olufestus
    May 16, 2011

    n Summary:Real Madrid are sore losers.Players cheat,we see it week in & week out.It shouldn’t be condoned but why should RM act as if it something new.They are just sore.They were beaten 5-0 in November and now knocked out of Europe.They must live with it. Period!!

  16. barca96
    May 16, 2011

    On a totally unrelated note. I was probably the happiest man yesterday.

    Ajax won the league on the final day (pheeuw, I actually didn’t expect them to win it actually. That’s how little confident I have in them) and
    -Barca dominated the match against Deportivo with a lot of youngsters.

    I actually don’t expect the love affair with Frank de Boer to last long. In the past when a new coach comes in and does well in the 1st season, the following season will likely be a disappointment and then the board will simply sack the coach. The board has very little patience. They are still living in the past. But that’s a whole different story. For now, I just wanna celebrate both my teams winning their respective league.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2011

      And their RB – who we were thinking of getting, right? – provided two assists! Will Ajax be able to keep him for next year, I wonder?

    • blitzen
      May 16, 2011

      So what’s happening with the Cruyff situation?

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      Hi barca96! Congrats on the Ajax win!

      Ajax was one of my favorite teams in the olden days. In fact, I became a fan of Barcelona when they had all these Dutch players – de Boer, Kluivert, Overmars, Cocu, Reizeger (most of whom came from Ajax). [I also followed Arsenal then because of Bergkamp]

      I loved Frank. He looks scary. Doesn’t smile. Which is great for a defender. Puyol probably took lessons from him 😀 Hope he stays longer with Ajax and may Ajax be back in its old form.

  17. Liva
    May 16, 2011

    I recently read an excellent comment about Mourinho in the comments under one article on Guardian website which, in my opinion, so perfectly describes him that I actually wrote it down (and it very nicely correlates with the title of Kxevin’s post mentioning mud):

    “Mou is a pig and enjoys rolling in mud. If you fight a pig, you will surely get dirty. If he wins, you are dirty and loser. If you win, pig still had fun as he just wanted to roll around in the mud.”

    I could add to it that even if you win you are still covered in mud after the fight – and if you happened to be wearing your best suit, the sweetness of the victory is seriously lessened when you see the dry-cleaning bill.

    What EE (now even I am starting to call them like that, had never done that before) has been doing is extremely disappointing, especially considering the magnitude and the traditions of the club. I, personally, never really hated them; yeah, I didn’t like them, but I still had certain respect for them. Now that is gone. When I was a kid and would have totally pointless arguments with my brothers (those who have siblings might imagine how those kinds of quarrels usually go 😀 You’re stupid! No, you’re more stupid! and so on), my parents (who, rather understandably, grew tired of the bickering really quickly) would always say – the first person to shut up is the wiser one. Then one of us would usually shut up and walk around looking very smug, claiming some sort of bizarre moral victory – by then the argument had gotten so ridiculous that there was no way to even determine who was right in the first place, if indeed there had been some sort of truth in the first place. Now, it’s not always correct in 100% of the situations, but still – you got to know when to stop. (By the way, by that I am not implying that if EE really thought that Busquets had used racial slurs, they should have stayed quiet; no – that is an extremely serious issue and if they indeed were convinced that they are right, then they should have reported that, but they also should have done it directly, not just insinuating things and, preferably, not by deciding to complain a couple of days after the incident when somewhere a video surfaces on the web with very helpful subtitles; also they should not have backtracked like they did, either you do something or you don’t, their statement a couple of days ago was more than strange).

    EE, in this case, has been the child who refuses to shut up and screams his/her little head off till everybody in the room has a headache. Their actions have been bitter and petulant – “if we can’t have it, let’s make sure nobody else can enjoy it”.

    Mourninho and EE wanted Barca to join them in the field of mud – apparently not just on the pitch, but off of it as well. Everyone comes out of the field of mud dirty and looking significantly worse than before entering. But the saddest part is that everything and everyone around them was splashed and covered with mud as well.

    Oh, and only a couple of words about Busquets – I sincerely hope that he at least learns something from this. He has escaped the trouble this time, but he has severely damaged his reputation. Look at Pepe – after his kicking-the-opposing-player-who-is-on-the-ground incident, his reputation walks before him. When he got the red card in the CL semi-final’s first leg (in my opinion, deserved), I believe that the referee may have thought twice had there been another player with less well known history in Pepe’s place. Busquets should have simply shut up after the face-clutching – he should not have said anything at all, not “mucho morro” or anything else. If he shuts up and says nothing, this whole thing does not happen. There is a reason why there exists the proverb “Silence is golden”. In some cases it really is.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2011

      I’m not sure about the last bit you mention. Xavi has noted how Busquets brings something different from other Masia graduates – something along the lines of getting under the skin of opposing players and disrupting them. Him telling Marcelo que tiene mucho morro is part of that, I think. He should definitely tone down the play acting, however.

    • Liva
      May 16, 2011

      Well, in that particular case, I think that him grabbing his face after getting hit in the rib area most probably would have been sufficient in order to annoy Marcelo, the comments afterwards were unnecessary. He shamelessly playacted and got away with it – that alone surely must infuriate his opponent already.

      Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that he should never try to annoy his opponents with some kind of slightly-dirty gamesmanship, it’s part of the game (as long as it does not became the only thing the game is about and is seldom used, it is even somewhat enjoyable). But you have to apply certain common sense to it and know when to stop, when it’s enough. Busquets does seem to playact more than he should, as a result – as I said – his reputation is starting to walk before him. When Adebayor shoved his hands in Busquets’ face, I remember saying to my brother, who was furious about the incident, that he should wait and watch the replay before condemning Adebayor – it is Busquets after all, there is a chance he might have collapsed because he didn’t like the way Adebayor looked at him.

    • poipoi
      May 16, 2011

      It was clear marcelo wasn’t annoyed by that, maybe because he also dives and has played with many other divers specially in the NT. Busi gave crap talking a shot 😛
      From a EE/mou fc supporter’s point of view I’m sure that was the single best action of adebayor’s single season in the team. Great player. Neeext!

  18. Josep
    May 16, 2011

    so Mourinho wins right?

    dude slanders, slanders, slanders. most press still think he’s a genious, he gets a 3 match ban from the CL, and he gets to throw poison at a club. and then disappears into the mist.

    seriously, I haven’t heard from him since his POR QUE.

    but, then again, new accusations added to the Porto case. (not really new, but adding to the whole golden whistle scandal”

  19. Blow-Grenade
    May 16, 2011

    Firstly, I would like to defend Busquets and Alves on their diving and theatrics, not all the way, but to a certain extent. I am not sure how many people here have played in the defensive midfield position, or the right back positions. The tackles and challenges at these positions are intense. Some of the reactions of these players, if you ask me, are way too exaggerated. But, if I was playing opposite Alves or Busquets, I would think twice before fouling them because they go down easily. There are two ways of looking at these players reactions on the way they react when fouled – 1. Divers, 2. Self Preservation.

    No matter what happens on the pitch, I would say what happened off the pitch is what is disgusting. For the rest, there is the referee.

  20. Extreme barca fan
    May 16, 2011

    Welcome back Kxevin
    What happened in the last few weeks was terrible, however, i think the only mistake (and a very BIG one that is) that our club didn’t react to deny the allegations against Busi, apart from that, what some of our players did, like play acting, diving and fouling, is a part of the game, our club and coach didn’t INSTRUCT our players to do any of these things, it was normal reactions to the thugness being inflicted on them by the (already much hated) rival team.
    But Mourinho DID tell his players to bully our players, he then unleashed all his poison in a press conference saying that Barcelona did this, Barcelona did that, Barcelona bought UEFA… etc, even then i still thought that this is one person and not the institution, but when the institution it self (EE) began talking crap, supporting their B…. of a manager, that is totally disgraceful, our “institution” didn’t do the same, as far as i’m concerned the shame in this whole fiasco belongs to them, EE.
    here is a time line of my hatred levels towards them
    -10000BC to 2000 AD: full hatred
    -2000: Figo moves to EE: double the hatred
    -summer of 2003: EE acquires the services of David Beckham: double the previous
    -summer of 2009: EE acquires the services of TB, more hatred
    -summer of 2010: bad mouth mourinho joins EE, more hatred
    -spring/summer of 2011: Four classics in 20 days: unconditional hatred
    This post is not intended to be funny, i just said what i feel/think
    Again, welcome back Kxevin

  21. May 16, 2011

    Here’s my question: If EE’s argument was SO OUTRAGEOUS, why did the “cules” want F.C. Barcelona to come out and Busquets to say something? He had nothing to defend right? Against those dreadful Madridistas? Why did he have to “show his face”?

    I don’t understand.

    • May 16, 2011

      because a club, especially one of Barcelona’s caliber, should NEVER allow controversy loom over one of its players.

      if there was really nothing racist, a simple denial would’ve worked magic for the trigger happy PC brigade regulations abiding Cules. if there was something, a ‘we’re investigating’ statement would’ve come in tone with all anti racism campaigns.

      instead, we get this shit overshadowing almost every positive result of the past 2 weeks. not cool.

    • May 16, 2011

      But thats saying “Im not racist” if nobody has deemed them racists in the first place. Lets recall just because we, the people, saw this video doesn’t mean FCB or RM did. That is assumption this, along with many journalists made.
      If RM is such a terrible lying bunch of people, then “clearing our name” before they even made the allegation was ridiculous. At least to me.
      We didn’t do anything, we shouldn’t have to say anything if there isn’t an attack. When the attack was made, FCB said something, the fact that people still aren’t happy is whole other issue.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      You don’t respond to smear tactics. Smear tactics are designed to provoke a response because responding = losing.

  22. justsayin
    May 16, 2011

    In my opinion, this issue is over and we can put it to bed. Some will remember Busquets as a racist and most won’t. As with all important games, new controversies will arise. So, on May 29th we will all be discussing the “happenings” of what occurred at Wembley and the matter of Busquets being a racist will start to become a little less talked about and little more forgotten. By the time we play Madrid again, Mourinho will be up to more shenanigans than we can probably imagine, and the Busquets issue will be nothing more than a lingering memory. Soccer, they say, is Life. It goes on. I plan on just enjoying it.

  23. Eklavya
    May 16, 2011

    Apparently there’s going to be a new ad on FIFA12 with Rooney, Pique, Benzema, Kaka and some unknown guy. (Got this from Rooney’s twitter)

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      haha, the unknown guy is probably Mats Hummels, Dortmund’s best defender. And in Germany there have been rumours that Barça is interested in him!

      He’s been really impressive and only 22 years old. I’d take him as the future partner of Piqué in central defense.

    • Eklavya
      May 16, 2011

      Well no, the unknown guy is Tim Cahill.

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      Ah, okay.

      I thought it would be Hummels because he said during the Dortmund title celebrations that he’ll meet Wayne Rooney on Tuesday (i.e. tomorrow). Maybe Hummels also takes part?!?

      Or the FIFA 12 spot has already been shot.

    • Eklavya
      May 16, 2011

      Maybe Hummels also took part but Rooney didn’t know his name and therefore didn’t write it on his twitter! LOL 😀

  24. May 16, 2011

    With that, I hope you’re back to reviews ahead of the CL final, Kxevin. You don’t write like someone who’s lost their appetite for blogging around these parts.

  25. hammeronmessi
    May 16, 2011

    Read the post now.

    the matter is an issue of the past.get over it.the no of posts regarding this issue in bfb in mind boggling.

    and finally when we win the cl all of the brit press will bend on their knees and will praise us as the greateast.so it doesnt matter.

    • May 16, 2011

      That’s an interesting viewpoint.

      But, supporting a club should be about more than just winning or losing, no? I hope you see why the Busi issue is also very important to a lot of people.

  26. Xingxian
    May 16, 2011

    I run out of words to praise Kxevin’s writing like pundits run out out of words to praise Messi.

  27. jazzler
    May 16, 2011

    Thanks for the shout out, Kxevin!

    I am really, really sad. I was hoping to be proven wrong, that my reservations about Spain and its attitude towards race were unfounded, that a club that would so proudly tout the Catalan identity would understand what it would be like to be a minority, and be proactive in calling out oppression. Naturally, I would like to think that I hold my club to a higher standard :p

    And RM, well, I have to hand it to their PR people, very effective in terms of smearing Barca’s reputation. RM wanted to have its cake and eat it too with that official statement. I actually wrote this long ass comment/essay providing a close reading of the UEFA announcements & UEFA disciplinary proceedings, RM’s announcement and Barca’s essentially non-statement announcement in another comm talking about how the information/decision played out the way it did. The lawyer in me finds the assumptions and misunderstandings re: the process alone to be absolutely breathtaking.

    Kxevin, I hope you keep writing and have made your peace with Barca and the way it handled the Busi situation.

    We struggle with inconsistencies in the ones we love. This is not something exclusive to our club. I struggle with my family being racist, sexist & homophobic, in what they say but not just in what they say and the words they say, but what they think. It just sucks cos we ostensibly choose our club, more than we choose our family, that’s for sure. So what do we do? We struggle with these flawed beings and fight for change, if change really matters that much to us. (But here comes the organizer/social justice advocate in me, sorry, guys.)

    Man, all I have to say is now I am worried about the Korean canterano we have at La Masia. Kid, I hope you know, you have a long road ahead of you!

  28. poipoi
    May 16, 2011

    Excellent article man. Welcome back. Welcome to more than hating them 😉

    That old EE and their press. do you know who siro lopez & tomas roncero are? EE “journalists” I swear to god they haven’t touched a football ball in their lives and are opinion leaders…. enough

    On busi like ryan said above he is a rare Masia product… gotta love him me thinks. We need a player like that, the more different profiles the better. And I love his profile. Diving is not that bad for us, latin players. He doesnt go around breaking legs. Anglo people prefer rudeness to “picardia”. Hard to translate picardia, its like cheating outsmarting it is in our culture. I personally don’t like rudeness love picardia. Even masche dives and he is not soft at all, just happens to be argentinian. We spanish are latin people, remember that we dive. Iniesta dives even more than busi (he don’t fake hits in the face either ok but hes ghostface he is a very cold player. How many world cups won by divers? (Latin or Latin-American teams) how many won by north European teams, the rude and hard teams? …. busi is a diver but a good one… a diver and he is Def Mid lmfao …. remember edmilson? Awful awful diver I hated that player but I loooves busi. And even the fact he is so hated at, like Luis Enrique or Hristo stoichkov. besides they totally beat us up earlier in CDR. It was payback EE beyotches!

    • K_legit
      May 16, 2011

      Hristo was as hard as they come, a true Puto Loco

    • Vj
      May 16, 2011

      Hey, even I sometimes don’t get the fuss around diving here. It’s not like he snapped someone’s legs into two, is it? But calling for his head for that? Not done.

      Yeah, he should control it like Iniesta does – the WC Final comes to mind and not go down every other challenge. And stop with the face-clutching. Jeez! That gives it away so easily!

  29. May 16, 2011

    Yeah, as I said in the previous thread, it’s pretty obvious neither club takes racism as seriously as we thought they did — or rather I shouldn’t say “they”, I mean us. Barca.

    When I became a Barca fan, I didn’t think the club was this perfect, Superman-eque fighter of all rights, that our players don’t trash talk the opponent, that we are shining examples of all things good in the world. I was and am under no such illusion.

    I mean, Xavi has once called Thong Boy a “cono”, or p*ssy/b!tch, that was caught on live TV.

    What rubbed me the wrong way was that this wasn’t ever about fighting racism, That Club’s sole purpose was tarnishing their rival’s name. I saw this from the beginning, and it really really pissed me off. As a cule, I dislike them because of the rivalry and all that stuff, but now? I can’t put into words the total and utter disgust and hatred I feel for them. This was so low, so unbelievably low.

    We should have slipped something to our local media or something, and when people like Sid Lowe run with quotes and publish what he did in The Guardian, well, we need to give the fans something. (I lost a lot of respect for Sid after this whole fiasco. @barcastuff and Ramzi have that guy’s number). I still believe we did the right thing legally.

    The contrarian in me felt that there was a gross imbalance in this whole saga, and so I wanted to give people another view to chew on. If anyone felt I was attacking them (directly or indirectly), I wasn’t, or I wasn’t meaning to.

    In the end, let me just say that, for the most part and despite all the highly charged emotions, it was a pleasure to discuss this with all of you. I learnt a lot. Really. It’s cool that BFB can have such discussion without it turning into an ugly affair. Thanks.

  30. just listenin
    May 16, 2011

    It may be possible that Busquets is owed an apology from several corners, including some here. There was a considerable amount of prejudice toward him that drove a frenzied rush to judgment in the earliest discussions. He was branded with a scarlet R and nearly ostracized to the point of needing an intervention from Xavi at the celebration. Go back and read some of the early posts where there is talk of kicking him off the team, absolute certainty that he said it, etc. Fans throw around “in Pep we trust”, well Pep backed him, and if you trust him and he was willing to put his reputation on the line then ipso facto, we should have given Busquets at least the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise from pretty early on. But, apparently tall guys who fall down too easily fit the stereotype for racists. Apparently the limited look at the evidence we had was more convincing than the full case that UEFA found unconvincing. A good position all along was – wait for this day. Good policy in these kinds of matters; if found “innocent”? forget about it, if guilty? take serious actions, in the meantime – carry on. But then, who knows what the heck he said? I think many lost the context of this in the broader campaign against the team by Mou/EE and made it about Busquets, this was exactly the intended result. The louder it’s denied that there is a smear campaign the more likely it’s true (see preacher railing against societal evils caught in whore house), and the more the perpetrators have to double down on this stuff and believe their BS to save their shameful faces for ever having started it in the first place, lest they be proven pitiful. Often in such situations, the plain and simple guts or character to put a stop to it don’t exist, the humiliation is too much for weak emotional constitutions that are buoyed up by enormous egos… it’s desperate, and it stinks like desperation. There isn’t an enough humility in “That Club” under this leadership to turn that ship IMO, I’d love them to prove me wrong. Kxevin right, it’s not yay for anybody, sad all around really.

    I’m not sure I have a problem with the club’s response however, I have to think long and hard about that. This nonsense almost shouldn’t be dignified with a response, it perpetuates a dialog that’s harmful to you. First people were upset for taking a case against Mourinho for besmirching our reputation, then we got mad when we didn’t do the same for Busquets. What was the difference? the principle, or the topic? Don’t get upset about nah-nah-na-nah-nah, but take the front lines against racism? That’s not a principled approach, that’s cherry picking pet battles. There has been more than enough inconsistency and hypocrisy to go around on this one for just about everyone. Good trap, worked well.

    The Busquets matter is done. What isn’t over and won’t be over until years after Mourinho moves on (if ever now), is the climate and the impact on the team, and don’t kid yourself that this can’t effect things on the pitch, it can. This is where the concern and focus needs to shift, repair. There is a hostility and negative undertow that is sucking everything into it, and that’s bad. I hope we can rise above it. We actually need Unicef back on the front of our shirts more than ever right now. Ill fitting that that ugnificent shirt came out today. Sorry for the ramble, lots of thoughts on this…

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      It’s a pleasure to read your insightful comments, no need to apologize for a rant 🙂

      In your last paragraph, do you refer to Barça as the team that’ll be affected by this events?
      Because I also think that the Spanish NT will suffer from this (in a different way than FC Barcelona, of course), especially given the new comments from St. Iker… the relation almost seems to be irreparable.

      As far as UNICEF is concerned, we agreed a deal for an on-going collaboration with them. Further details about it will be revealed in June.

    • just listenin
      May 16, 2011

      Hi Helge, thanks btw, I had about 8 different things I wanted to say and they got mashed up – I was referring to Barca, I think this can bring you closer or tear you apart, I am hoping they have turned to each other to get through. This kind of assault can start breeding doubts then dissensions.

      I couldn’t agree with you more about the NT, how in the world cup are they going to be able to play the same way together? VDB almost certainly is going to have to make some changes to call ups or really go to work on trying to mend fences, but to your point, how?? I am really disappointed, these guys won a world cup together, you’d think that would mean something. I suspect there will be regrets one day, foolish… and Casillas, et tu Iker

      Saw the UNICEF announcement earlier too – that’s good news, I’m still just sad that something we sponsor has been relegated to the back of the jersey for something sponsoring us – trying to get over it.

    • BTTFCule
      May 16, 2011

      I am not into Barca as some of you obviously are but my thoughts on Qatar Foundation sponsorship : If it helps FCB to fund Unicef more then why not ?

  31. Jim
    May 16, 2011

    Not an objective poll but at my work people are still talking about our diving but not about this incident with Busquets. We need to make sure we play fair in the final against Man Utd if we want to leave this behind. We have done our reputation some damage there.

    I’m not upset by the club’s silence. No need to dignify them with a response if we know that their allegations are being looked at by UEFA. I wouldn’t argue now, however, against a short statement welcoming the decision, confirming our faith in the player and reiterating our stance on racism.- with possibly a hope expressed that RM accept UEFA’s decisions and allow relations between the clubs to move on. That might smoke out a response from RM and what do they say then? If they say nothing that’s it closed.

  32. Manish
    May 16, 2011

    Transfers….

    Tevez(27) with Villa(31) .. what do you guys think…??

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      I’d take Tevez on any day. But not for more than 25m. And I’d also keep Villa.

    • soccermomof4
      May 16, 2011

      Isn’t Tevez shorter than Messi? That’s not a good plan B. Great forward though. Another Argentine on the team would make Messi happy.

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      I always feel that Argentina is a lot stronger as soon as Messi and Tevez can play together. They’ve got a great understanding.

      Makes it even harder to understand why the Argentinean coach omits Carlitos from the Copa America line-up…

    • BTTFCule
      May 16, 2011

      I think you got it wrong then. Tevez doesn’t get along well with Messi. That is the main reason for his continued absence from NT.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      What? Tevez out and Villa in? No way man.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      Villa out and Tevez in**

      😀

    • Diego
      May 16, 2011

      Even if they paid us the difference, NO !

    • Manish
      May 16, 2011

      Tevez is quite in a Barca mould –
      1. Likes to play those short passes
      2. Has great work rate ..and always makes a difference when on the field..

      i think he would make a great addition to the squad.. Well Villa doesn’t score much headers.. does he??

    • Manish
      May 16, 2011

      and now.. i hate( * zillion).. the defective lawn Mower Mourinho and his bunch of stooges..

      Well.. it is not EE..but has Mowrinho written all of this piece of crap

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      No way. If you want to add Tevez to the squad, then maybe, depending on the price. But at the expense of Villa? No.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      1. Villa is 29, not 31.

      2. Villa is a better forward than Tevez is. At least looking at Villa with Valencia and Spain. Tevez may or may not be a better fit for us, but we wouldn’t know now just like how Villa of Spain/Valencia seemed a perfect fit for us. We don’t know if Tevez will adapt to us well, just like Villa has been taking time to do. After all the style he plays in City or United is further from us than Valencia or Spain was.

      3. Villa works like a dog as well, lest we forget. Tevez does too, but he seems more hard-working than some other equally exerted players cos he looks sweaty and flustered and enthusiastic and harrying lol.

      4. Wouldn’t our first team improve more if Tevez played in Pedro’s slot instead of Villa’s anyway? I’d love Tevez’s skill set in the forward line yes. Just not at the expense of Villa.

      5. Once again, since we can’t foresee Tevez’s adaptation and thus compare it with Villa’s, judging from their showing over the previous few years for club and country, and talent, Villa IS better. We forget just how brilliant a player Villa is/was cos he’s struggling with us, in a club where the forward position is a really tough challenge.

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      Let’s not forget that Carlito has a track record of being a bit of a head-case…

    • privateeye
      May 18, 2011

      And Tevez doesnt last long with any club West Ham, Man United, Man City… IT is not going to change any time soon

  33. soccermomof4
    May 16, 2011

    It’s over.
    And I can’t hate the players on EE. Bible says I can’t hate people. But I can say that right now I severly, viscerally dislike them to the nth degree. As for the institution that is EE, I used to have some degree of respect for it. That’s gone. Yep, hate the institution. The problem for me as a fan of la Furia Roja right now is that I don’t want our guys playing on the same field as their guys. I think it would be a good lesson in humility for the rest of the team to have to try to play without the Catalans for a while, especially since Busquets was a HUGE reason behind their WC success.
    Anyway it’s over. Football anyone?

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      It’s not over soccermom 🙁 I wish it was, but it isn’t. They’ve tarnished Busi and our reputation over this. It pisses me off so much that our celebration was tainted by their bs.

      It also sucks that the next meaningful match isn’t until 28th of May. 😛

      Hey maybe we can all complain about how lame the new home jerseys are 😀

    • soccermomof4
      May 16, 2011

      1. We can chose for this situation to be over for us. We can’t control what the world believes, but we can chose to move forward. Hopefully lessons have been learned by club, players, and cules and we can allow ourselves some happiness (not saying that we ignore injustice, just that we allow ourselves to move on from this particular episode). It can be over as soon as WE allow it to be over and to heck with the haters. And yes, that the celebration was tainted as well as my enjoyment of the last few games are something I find hard to swallow.
      2. May 28th can’t come soon enough.
      3. Lame doesn’t even begin…

  34. culegirl3
    May 16, 2011

    Great post Kxevin! You have a way with words 🙂

    Back in crazy town they say they aren’t surprised and are patiently awaiting how many times Busi goes down during the CL final. So I really hope he can refrain from falling more than necessary not only in the final but just permanently. We aren’t them, we shouldn’t fall easily like DiveMaria, TB, Marcelo, etc. Of course UEFA’s decision only confirms, in their delusional state of mind, what their fearless leader said about our “close” ties with UEFA/UNICEF. And so they will never let this go, ever. I almost feel sorry for Marcelo for having been dragged into this mess, despite him playing for EE. They of course will never apologize to us or Busquets because again, in their effed up state of mind they never reported anything to anyone. Mourinho is silent because EE is unclear as to why UEFA punished him(ignorance is bliss I suppose).

    I feel the same as others who’ve commented. I once respected EE but that respect has transformed into pure disdain. And here I was excited a few weeks ago thinking I’d get to watch the boys from the Spanish NT when EE plays the LA Galaxy but now I’ve even lost respect for my beloved Casillas and Alonso and so I’m not so sure I wan’t to pay any amount of money to see them. What EE has done is disgusting and reprehensible. The fact that their supporters continue to pledge their loyalty and refuse to acknowledge the wrongs that have been committed on their behalf is shocking to say the least. At least us culés can admit when the club has made a mistake or when players are out of line. We know how to win gracefully and loose with class, unlike others. If EE should be projecting frustration, anger, and outrage..then it should be at themselves and not us. We didn’t hire a crappy/vile manager who was supposed to deliver the treble but only came back with a fake king’s cup, that was their brilliant idea. This whole situation only proves EE’s philosophy, win at any and all costs. If this is what happens when they loose 2/3 competitions, I can’t wait to see what happens when they loose everything next year.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      What’s worse is when they (EE fans) try and equate our wrongs with their wrongs. Yeah, FCB complaining to UEFA regarding Mou’s slanderous rant is on the level with alleging Busi is a racist. And then, when push comes to shove, rubbing their hands off of it with “we didn’t say anything, Barca started it!”

      None of them can admit their club is a fuck up without going “well hey Barca fucked up too”, as if somehow we’re equal. It’s not even on the same scale. Completely false comparison.

      F*k off.

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      The best thing about it was the official statement on their website, claiming Real had to react and defend themsevles because we accused Mourinho.
      And how do they defend themselves? By asking 8 of our players to get banned for unsportsmanlike behaviour 😀

      Ridiculous. And that was just the beginning, the true bs came afterwards. Words can’t describe the diabolicalness of that club!

  35. Diego
    May 16, 2011

    I respect Barcelona and its people much much more now after their Demonstrations today supporting the Syrian revolution.

  36. Manish
    May 16, 2011

    Nav..

    where will you be watching the finals ..? Will you at 4 kings?

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah man. You wanna come along?

    • Manish
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah.. for sure…:D .. will be getting my wife along..she too watches football..cause of me.. what’s ur mail id or cell no??

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      Do you check your Datacom email?

  37. Nik
    May 16, 2011

    Maybe my memory is off (that happens quite often), but didn’t the club come out really fast and lay the smack down on Cadena COPE when they accused us of doping? If the club was ready to take legal action then from the get-go, why didn’t it do that to protect Busi against the false allegations of racism? It can’t be an issue of wanting to avoid giving a lie the appearance of truth by acknowledging it, else why respond to the doping allegations?

    Maybe someone can clear my confusion.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      One is slander and one is rumour mongering.

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      Not sure I’m seeing the difference in the two scenarios. In both cases, someone spread a lie about FC Barcelona. Sure, EE targeted the player instead of the institution, but when a player puts on the jersey, doesn’t he represent the institution? Shouldn’t the club protect its own from false allegations, especially when the allegations claim he did something heinous while wearing the jersey? And by spreading the racist allegations against Busi as far as they could, weren’t they trying to imply that Barca harbors and approves of racism? Isn’t that slander? (That’s a real question btw; I’m pretty uneducated on this topic.)

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      Well, I can only speculate. But I guess in the club’s eyes a radio station alleging that we are involved in doping is fundamentally different to on-the-pitch antics. I know in my eyes it is. Games are very emotional and I’m sure players say a lot of shit they don’t mean. That kind of stuff should stay on the pitch. This is what Barca’s VP was trying to say (which a lot of EEdistas were trying to spin into “Barca supports racism on the field” — stay classy EEdistas!) as well.

      That would be my guess anyway (apart from the legalities of accusing someone of doping vs saying ‘you say mean things to our players’).

    • jazzler
      May 16, 2011

      There isn’t a difference, to me, and that’s what makes Barca’s silence so damning. So allegations of doping are problematic, tarnish the club’s image, hurt the reputations of the players but allegations of racist slurs are not?

      Yes, you can argue that doping is ostensibly a crime, but I think being painted as a racist clearly hurts your reputation. To make out a case for slander/libel, you have to show harm to your reputation due to spoken/written (or even videographic ahem) statements.

      Really disappointed, Barca. The two are equally as bad for me, but you seem to think one is worse than the other.

    • May 16, 2011

      In my opinion, there is a difference. I talked about this in my Innocent Until Proven Guilty post. The doping allegations came from one direct source, Cadena COPE, which was caught on record. Mourinho’s comments were the same (from the press conference and therefore on record as well). In both cases, there is one, undeniable source that are making the allegations.

      The problem with this case is no one is saying anything — the main “source” is a video where the origin of said video is undetermined and where it’s being spread virally. If FC Barcelona — the club– comment, it’s responding to an ambiguous allegation that has no real source. They can’t “pin” it to anyone, so to speak. The reason EE have said they deny making the allegation (even though they did and that’s why they keep saying they didn’t) is so we can’t sue them after. If EE had come outright and said Busi racial abused Marcelo, they’d be formally accusing us and then would have to prove it. If they fail to, we can sue them for slander (or something, I’m not a lawyer.)

      If I think Barca would have sued them for it is another question. I don’t think they would have. This whole fiasco shows racism isn’t taken seriously in Spain. The only reason EE pursed this matter was to make us look bad, and we didn’t comment for a reason I understand, but I thought our PR department should have done something to dispel some notions.

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      Ah, I see. Sorry, it’s been a bit hectic lately for me, so I missed that article (I’m sure it was well written! :)). That makes sense…although it doesn’t make me feel better. What a crappy situation. Sigh

      Thanks for clearing up my confusion!

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      SPOT ON, Kari!!!

      That’s the best explanation on why they didn’t respond to it. And why they shouldn’t have.

      As I’ve said before – I agree that they the Club should come out with a statement. But how to disassociate such statement from the (then) ongoing saga of Busi and the mysterious video from nowhere is a problem.

      Also, just for everyone to think about – EE did not have any kind of real evidence at all. So either Marcelo did not hear Busi say “mono” or he completely refused to comment on it. As I said before – if Marcelo categorically stated he heard mono, EE would have filed a case. For them to backtrack now by saying that they only put up the video for purposes of proving Busi’s diving and NOT the racial slur means they have no other evidence on hand but the video, which is weak.

      Also, UEFA will not say lack of solid and conclusive evidence if there was a statement from Marcelo. That would have been solid evidence, even if refuted by Busi.

      And yes, I’m a lawyer. It’s quite difficult to explain some legal things in a non-legal setting. Why for instance can’t one respond to a certain thing. But you, Kari, explained it very well. Or even why a perfectly good legal move is a PR failure. But I guess you can all see for yourself how things are playing out.

      That’s why the most important thing is to keep some things in mind, such as innocent until proven guilty. If we all adhered to this from the start, we would not have been in a tizzy from all the shenanigans RM has played on us. We would be feeling victorious today from vindication or we would have accepted a proper punishment for Busi, had he been found guilty. After all, we are all in united condemnation of racism.

      Now the next thing to do is discuss how we can all work together to stamp out this vileness. And it can only work in a proactive manner. We should also stamp out prejudice and being too quick to find support for this cause, at the expense of innocent people.

  38. Helge
    May 16, 2011

    Just watched the title celebrations (Sky Sports links from Jnice) and now I cannot wait for the CL final either.

    I MIGHT GET NEARLY AS CRAZY AS VADERSPACEDOUT GOT ! ! !

  39. vaderspacedout
    May 16, 2011

    I’ve made this comparison before, but we need to be more like Man Utd fans and ENJOY the haters cos:
    a) It just means we’re that damn good
    b) A bit of pleasure in seeing rivals get so frickin’ bitter
    c) Shit ain’t gonna be what’s remembered in history. Allegations and snarky comments about Fergie time or diving is soon forgotten. Being on the receiving end of an all-time great performance in a 5-0 whipping, takes longer to be forgotten. Winning a load of titles and a CL, is eternal. Fact.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      And d) Why let them win? If they get to us, they’ve won their little own Media CL. For the aforementioned Reasons A to C, there is no reason for us to worry, so let’s chill and party to celebrate being f’ing awesome.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      I don’t know about Man U fans and I’m relatively new to football, but I guess it’s difficult because no one lives in a vacuum. I guess it gets tiring when someone sees the crest you support and goes “oh those diving, cheating c***s” :/

    • privateeye
      May 18, 2011

      Show one club which doesnt have diving players then we can sit down and talk.

  40. Lev
    May 16, 2011

    @poipoi

    liked your comparison of latin divers against north european kickers.

    remember south american countries dive, fake AND kick the hell out of people.

    And forgetting about Brazil (let’s face it, if Holland would have had 180 million people like Brazil instead of 16 million we would have won the WC 10 times instead of 5), Germany also dives and kicks the hell out of people. They got a lot of world cups too.

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      There aren’t many teams that participate in the WC that can claim they don’t dive.

    • May 16, 2011

      let’s face it, if Holland would have had 180 million people like Brazil instead of 16 million we would have won the WC 10 times instead of 5

      As long as we’re playing silly games, if Uruguay would have 180 million people instead of 3 million, they would have won all but one of all the World Cups in history. The English would still have won in ’66 because it was destiny.

      *snicker*

    • Lev
      May 17, 2011

      they wouldn’t have one all of ’em but yeah maybe a couple. When have Uruguay ever gotten far in the WC except for the ones they won back in the stone age and the semis of South Africa?

  41. caosanping
    May 16, 2011

    Has anybody noticed EE released another statement saying they didn’t appeal to UEFA to investigate Busi’s case and it’s all UEFA’s deicsion?

    http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/madrid-insiste-denuncio-sergio-busquets/20110516dasdasftb_67/Tes

    This is really interesting. If they really believe Busi is guilty, what are they afraid of? Why did they release one statement before the verdict and now another and try to convince people they didn’t do this? They probably realized the lawsuit problem behind all this after they irresponsibly put the subtitled video on their official website. What an interesting reaction from EE!

    • Lou
      May 16, 2011

      I think they are just worried about lawsuits. If they made the accusations against Busquets and they can’t prove it, Busquets and/or FC Barcelona would probably have a very strong case for legal action.

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      I’m copying my own comment on this matter two posts back:

      UEFA can conduct the inquiry of its own volition without anyone filing a complaint.

      My (hopefully) LAST two cents on the matter (as I’m tired of the issue myself):

      RM did not file the case. Therefore, they had NO evidence to back it up.

      Their best (and what would have been solid and convincing) proof would be Marcelo’s word saying he heard Busi say mono, mono to him – as he was looking straight at Busi, within hearing distance. No such statement was submitted, as we now know.

      Therefore, the UEFA who opened the investigation on its own only had the video to judge the case from, plus player statement – which based on RM’s retraction of even bringing this case up – was not an “I heard mono mono” but probably a “no comment” from Marcelo himself.

      The video, as I and many people have been saying here – is not clear. It was in fact meant to sway people by a “looks like” effect plus the subtitle underneath which immediately makes people think that it is what the person in the video said.

      RM latched on to it in the hope of many people thinking badly of Busi and Barcelona. And they succeeded.

      But they had to come up with an official statement saying they did NOT include it in their complaints because they knew they had no other evidence but the unclear video and Barcelona can pursue this case and expose them for the despicable institution they have become, officially and legally.

      RM does not want to become liable officially and legally. It only wants to make Barcelona hated by many. This it succeeded in doing. Very clever, yes?

      The one disappointment I have in all this is RM succeeded in sowing doubt and hate even amongst the Barcelona fans. And I saw how easily manipulated people are by all sorts of stuff even if it means condemning someone to an ill-deserved reputation and perhaps damaging his career and livelihood.

  42. caosanping
    May 16, 2011

    Now I feel really disappointed about how Spanish football clubs deal with racism problems. It’s obvious now RM only wanted to use the whole racism thing to distablize Barca and hope to get Busi banned for the second-leg or the final. They don’t really care about the racism issue itself. If they do, first they won’t release the video with the arbitrarily assigned subtitle on their official website and claimed Busi is a racist without any lawful verdict. If they realize how serious such issue could be, they should appeal it to UEFA first before they shouted it out everywhere. Their irresponsible acts have hurt both Marcelo and Busiquets. Second, if they truly believe Busi said mono mono, they shouldn’t have stated twice on their website that they didn’t request UEFA to investigate and it’s UEFA’s decision to pick on this case. Why are they scared and trying to wash their hands? I am really interested in what RM fans would say about this. They probably would think this is another piece of evidence for the conspiracy theory.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      for me their reaction is an indication that Busquets is innocent…

      if a racial slur was indeed happened and Evil Empire are certain about this, they shouldn’t be scare and wash their hand like this…

      they can release official statements from Marcelo or other players who might here it too…and use that mute video as supporting proof…then file a complaint to UEFA…
      but they didn’t… ¿por qué?

  43. blitzen
    May 16, 2011

    In other news, Abidal continues to be amazing:

    Abidal: “I’m taking Catalan classes. I want to adapt fully, because I would like to settle down here.”

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      whooaa, King Abi…!

      I hope he will retire here… <3

  44. Diego
    May 16, 2011

    BUSQUETS !!!!! BUSQUETS !!!!! BUSQUETS !!!!! *in a Xavic voice*

  45. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 16, 2011

    UEFA has required Mourinho FC to pay legal costs because their claim against Barcelona of racism was dismissed #fcblive [sport]

    pay legal costs? I don’t understand… ❓

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah, since EE didn’t even submit the appeal, UEFA did?

      Conspiracy, conspiracy… by UEFA to damage Mourinho even more!

    • Diego
      May 16, 2011

      It’s usual when you file a lawsuit and it’s dismissed that you pay the legal costs and fees for wasting the time of the participants.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah but remember EE said they didn’t file anything and that UEFA decided to investigate on their own, in the official statement they put on their site?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      if this true, then Evil Empire is the one who lied… (no surprise here)

      how’s UEFA ask for legal cost if EE never file a case?

      sigh, I *%£€$ that club… someone should make a new word that stronger than “hate” or “disgust”…

      Vader, Outer, Jam, Meat, help us find a word!

    • blitzen
      May 17, 2011

      I believe the word you are looking for is “loathe”. or possibly “despise”.

  46. vaderspacedout
    May 16, 2011

    You know why all this, now?

    It’s not just because of Mourinho.

    It’s because the EE are genuinely afraid that this Barcelona team, with tons of players aged 23 or 24 that are the best in their positions, and a transfer kitty of 40 million a year, could form an extended period of dominance a la Di Stefano’s EE. Win four or five CLs, actually challenge their perch. For the first time in a long time that challenge looks frighteningly possible bar any mishaps. Thus it needs to be stopped, for them.

  47. Cule
    May 16, 2011

    I have a question for anyone who has a big problem with our new jerseys (which seems to be the majority). Is it the fact that we now have a sponsor or is it because it’s “Qatar Foundation”? In other words, would you be just as upset if it was any other sponsor?

    • May 16, 2011

      Personally, the former (that we have a sponsor period). I don’t mind Qatar Foundation itself at all; in fact, I think what they do is great. I just liked that we were different from all the other teams, that we didn’t have a betting company or a fast food chain, but UNICEF and we were paying them, not the other way around. TBH, I wouldn’t be happy with any sponsor, but the fact that the board are so obviously trying to say “hey! look, Qatar Foundation is still a good thing! It’s just that we’re getting paid this time!” rubs me the wrong way. Admittedly, if we had to sell the shirt, QF isn’t bad….I just prefer it if we didn’t sell it at all.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      because we have sponsor now, doesnt matter what the sponsor is, obviously…
      it sucks!

      but honestly, I better see Qatar Foundation than commercial companies or a gambling site…

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      Oh it’s most definitely cos of the selling thing. It may be a silly argument, but for a while it was nice to see, in my idealistic brain, a big institution that didn’t take that visible step to commercialization (I know the Nike logos and all did exist, its just a symbolic/idealism thing I have not really logical). And because it was nice for that to be Barca.

      I’m not Arab-o-phobic or anything being Muslim and thus the distaste is nothing to do with it being Qatar. But God, I was so so pissed when I heard we sold the shirt. I felt like mental tears.

      It being some form of a charity-esque organization and not, say a betting site (Sevilla or EEEE) or a huge company (Man Utd, Liverpool) or frickin Burger King (you know who) is a bit of consolation.

    • just listenin
      May 16, 2011

      Like others, I actually think Qatar Foundation is among the best of the worst thing that could happen in terms of having a sponsor. It would be awful if it was any of the betting sites or others mentioned. I’m actually glad it is an organization like Qatar if it has to be, just upset that it is anyone sponsoring us versus one we’re sponsoring – something lofty, idealistic and cool about us paying Unicef thing.

      I also like that my kids think it is the Guitar Foundation, makes me laugh.

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      I started liking Barcelona when they didn’t have a shirt sponsor at all and was quite proud of that fact. Happy to have a shirt that’s logo free.

      Unicef was okay although it did smack of advertisement to me (goody-goody) but we were “good” since we were the ones giving money to Unicef and not the other way around.

      I have to accept change in this world and since Qatar Foundation is already there, I’m fine with it since it’s still a do-gooder foundation.

      i really just hate that it looks bad on the shirt! It’s so long and….just doesn’t look nice.

      Why can’t be just a cool big QF in a really nice font?! That might be better.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      hahaha…yes, I saw that on twitter…too cute!

      seeing Valeria and Dylan, and other Barça babies, makes me wanna see Xavi juniors and Puyi juniors…

      Imagine Puyi’s kids will have that cute curly hair from their dad…

      and Xavi’s kids…well, they’re Xavi’s kids! Xaviiiii…!

    • can_we_go_Xalvies
      May 16, 2011

      Aparently that baby is not Valeria

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      no?

      when I saw that pic for the 1st time, I felt she’s too big to be Valeria…

    • May 16, 2011

      hmm. I can believe that. In any case, it’s still funny. Literally an 😯 expression

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah, that’s not his daughter. It’s supposed to be the daughter of a fan or something. It had a caption the first time it was shown.

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