Barcelona call for disciplinary action against La Liga president
BARCELONA: Barcelona have asked Spain's Court for Sport (TAD) to open disciplinary proceedings against La Liga chief Javier Tebas after he criticised the team's reaction to an empty bottle being thrown in from the stands during a goal celebration.
Tebas said he would be "ashamed to pretend" the way some players went down “like a game of skittles" even though the empty plastic bottle only appeared to hit striker Neymar as Barcelona celebrated Lionel Messi's injury-time penalty that secured a 3-2 win in Valencia's Mestalla Stadium.
Valencia were fined 1,500 euros ($1,634.10) by the Spanish football federation (RFEF), who also condemned the Barcelona players for goading the home team's fans.
"Barcelona demands the TAD opens disciplinary proceedings against Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, and members of the RFEF's Competition Committee for their ... reactions and judgements about Barcelona's players when they were assaulted during last Saturday's game against Valencia," La Liga champions Barcelona said in a statement on Thursday.
"Barcelona publicly reproaches Javier Tebas, as president of La Liga, and withdraws all their confidence in him for the time being."
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu added: "The declarations made by Tebas are irresponsible and unbecoming of a sports executive.
"The club will bring these declarations before the TAD because we want it to see to it that if they produce violence they are punished accordingly."
Neymar fell over and remained on the floor for a moment after the bottle hit him, while Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez also fell to the ground. Barca's stand-in captain Messi yelled insults at the Valencia fans behind the goal.
RFEF's report, released on Wednesday, accused Barca's players of "unexemplary behaviour" and "feigning they had been struck by the object".
Tebas hit back at any insinuation that his words could lead to violence, but welcomed the club's decision to take their grievances to the TAD.
"They are in the right to go to the TAD. I respect them and encourage them to go to any measures if they feel hard done by," Tebas told reporters.