Sat Oct 29 01:29:43 SAST 2016
Gender equality - Stock image
Security guards get two years’ pay after being fired for being women

Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.

Suitcases add weight to title war

By unknown | Jun 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

MADRID - The players of Mallorca will receive around ß600000 (about R5,8 million) if they manage to avoid defeat in their crucial match away to Real Madrid on Sunday.

MADRID - The players of Mallorca will receive around ß600000 (about R5,8 million) if they manage to avoid defeat in their crucial match away to Real Madrid on Sunday.

This is the news put out yesterday by the digital version of Marca newspaper.

The money will apparently be given to the Mallorca squad by Barcelona if they win or draw in the Estadio Bernabeu.

Officially, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said nothing about a "motivational payment", but Barca players Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi are quoted in all the newspapers as saying that their club should offer money to Mallorca.

In order to retain their La Liga title, Barca need Mallorca to avoid defeat in Madrid, while winning away to already-relegated Gimnastic Tarragona.

Real and Barca are level at the top on 73 points, but Real are ahead due to the Spanish direct results system, having taken four points off Barca in their two head-to-head clashes.

"Motivational payments" - also called "suitcases" because of the way the cash is handed over - to beat certain opponents are illegal under Spanish law, but the Spanish football federation has always turned a blind eye to them.

Barca are angry since they claim that Real gave local rivals Espanyol a massive "suitcase" to force a 2-2 draw away to Barcelona on Saturday.

The picture of the Espanyol players wildly celebrating the draw, which still leaves them in mid table, has raised suspicions and indignation at Barca.

And now they are determined to pay Real back in kind by "motivating" Mallorca, who really have little to play for, since they are in the same mid-table "comfort zone" as Espanyol.

These "motivational payments" are nothing new in Spanish football, and while few players are prepared to go on record as having accepted them, neither is anyone in the game really prepared to condemn them.

It is well known that Barcelona paid Tenerife heavily for twice beating Real Madrid, on the last day of the 1992 and 1993 seasons, thus giving the title on a plate to the Catalans.

It is also common knowledge that Real gave lucrative "suitcases" to the opponents of Real Sociedad in the spring of 2003, with the result that Sociedad dropped points and allowed Madrid to snatch the title.

But for the first time, questions are being asked about these dubious practices by certain sections of the media.

Radio Cope stated yesterday that these payments "should not be allowed, and should be properly investigated", while Cadena SER hinted that if a club is prepared to pay another to win, then it might be prepared to pay them to lose.

The only footballer to speak out, thus far, has been Betis keeper Koke Contreras. Betis are worried these "suitcases", mixed with dubious referees, might cause them to be relegated.

Last week Contreras demanded an "Italian-style" investigation into "corruption in Spanish football... whatever the consequences". But few people in the game have supported his demand. - Sapa-DPA


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT