Real Madrid deny vote-rigging charges

January 14th, 2009 - 3:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Jan 14 (DPA) Spanish champions Real Madrid have officially denied that club president Ramon Calderon was engaged in vote-rigging at the club’s annual general assembly Dec 7.Sports daily Marca alleged Tuesday that Calderon had “stolen the assembly”, by sneaking in several fans not qualified to be delegates.

Marca claims that Calderon’s proposed club budget only passed because of the votes of these fans, who have not been club members long enough to be delegates - or were not even club members at all.

Prestigious columnist Pedro J Ramirez said on Marca’s television channel on Tuesday that Calderon should resign “if he is not capable of denying this convincingly”.

On Tuesday evening Luis Barcena, the club’s director general of Members and Supporters’ Clubs, denied that Calderon was guilty of any wrongdoing, but also promised that “the club will open an investigation”.

Barcena’s brief statement to the media has been reproduced on the club’s official website.

The embattled Calderon received a further blow Tuesday evening when, as expected, the appeals committee of UEFA rejected the club’s appeal against UEFA’s ruling of last week that Real could not register Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Lassana Diarra for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Real were hoping to register both of their new signings, but UEFA have made it clear that only one of them can be inscribed, since both have already played this season in the UEFA Cup, for Ajax and Portsmouth respectively.

Calderon is allegedly considering taking the case all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Real - who have not reached the quarter-finals since 2004 - will face Premier League leaders Liverpool in the round of 16.

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