Real Madrid president quits in tears

MADRID - Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon resigned on Friday after allegations that he rigged voting at the club's last annual general assembly, which approved its financial accounts.

MADRID - Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon resigned on Friday after allegations that he rigged voting at the club's last annual general assembly, which approved its financial accounts.

But the 57-year-old lawyer, whose four-year mandate was set to expire in 2010, said he was leaving with his conscience clear.

"I am leaving with my hands clean and my conscience clear, with a lot less money and health than when I took up my mandate in 2006," said an emotional Calderon.

He said he hoped his resignation would "pacify" the tense atmosphere that has engulfed the club, but added that he had been proud to have officiated over "the greatest club in the world".

"I believe equally sincerely... that it's a triumph for injustice and spitefulness.

"I committed mistakes, never irregularities."

The defending Spanish champions' vice president, Vicente Boluda Fos will take over as caretaker president until fresh elections are held in June.

Calderon, who broke down in tears at the news conference called to announce his resignation, said he had taken his decision against the advice of his colleagues.

He has been under pressure since sports daily Marca alleged Tuesday that he stacked a December 7 annual general assembly with fake delegates to get the club's annual accounts for 2008 and its budget for 2009 approved by a slim margin. - Sapa-AFP

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