Carlo Ancelotti has responded to strong claims made by Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin that Real Madrid get preferential treatment from referees, insisting corruption no longer exists in football.
In a statement published on Atletico’s official website on Friday, Gil Marin claimed Real are involuntarily favoured by referees and have created an atmosphere that influences officials.
Gil’s strong remarks came a day on from Atletico’s 3-1 extra-time loss to fierce rivals Real in their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie, which they led for an hour until Rodrygo cancelled out Alvaro Morata’s goal.
Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior won the tie for the hosts at the Santiago Bernabeu in the additional period, after Stefan Savic was sent off by man in the middle Cesar Soto Grado for two bookable offences.
However, Atletico felt Real midfielder Dani Ceballos should also have been dismissed for bringing down Thomas Lemar when already on a yellow card and with the visitors a goal to the good.
“Anyone who observes [the situation] from the outside can see that for decades the same thing almost always happens,” Gil Marin added in his statement.
“Unfortunately it no longer surprises anyone, it is not news. It’s very obvious and you just have to remember the story.”
— Real Madrid C.F.(@realmadriden) January 28, 2023
Ancelotti was reluctant to get involved when asked about Gil Marin’s comments at a pre-match press conference previewing Sunday’s LaLiga match with Real Sociedad, but he did add suggestions of referees favouring certain teams are wide of the mark.
“I have not read the comments, though I have heard something,” Ancelotti said. “I don’t want to talk about it. The only thing I can say is that my character is my character and I respect to all opinions.
“It was a competitive match, an even match. I think for our part we deserved to win. The rest are matters I won’t talk about.”
Asked if he feels referees in general are doing a good job, Ancelotti said: “It is very complicated for them. It seemed that with VAR it could help. There is no longer talk about offside, for example.
“But everything that is not objective can create controversy. The corruption is gone compared to the past. In general, refereeing has improved a lot across Europe.”
Madrid now turn focus back to LaLiga and a showdown with third-placed La Real, who lost to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey in midweek but are on a five-game winning run in the league.
“La Real are playing very well and have good dynamics,” said Ancelotti, whose side trail leaders Barcelona by three points.
“We have to improve certain parts. After what happened against Atleti, it is important to play a complete match offensively and defensively.”
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