Coach Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid stated on Saturday that Barcelona’s accusations that his team was influencing La Liga referees were not professional.
Coach Xavi Hernandez and President Joan Laporta of Barcelona voiced their displeasure on Friday with the Real Madrid television channel airing videos critical of referees.
Xavi claimed that La Liga was “completely adulterated” due to leaders Madrid’s purported influence over referees.
“I’m a professional and as such, I will not lower myself to that level, out of respect for Spanish football,” Ancelotti told a news conference.
“Don’t ask more about that because I don’t want to lower myself (to that), it’s unprofessional.”
Ten points separate Real Madrid from fourth-place Barcelona and third-place Atletico Madrid, who play on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Should Antonio Rudiger fail to bounce back from a knock, Ancelotti might be forced to start a player out of position at centre back for the derby match.
Nacho Fernandez is Madrid’s sole available central defender at the moment due to injuries to David Alaba and Eder Militao.
Aurelien Tchouameni, a midfielder for Real Madrid, has previously played there, however he is currently suspended.
“Rudiger has improved a lot … we’ll look at him tomorrow and take a decision,” said Ancelotti.
In the event that Rudiger is not ready, the coach indicated he has choices in midfielders Eduardo Camavinga, Ferland Mendy, and Dani Carvajal.
“Camavinga has never played there but has the characteristics to,” added Ancelotti.
“He’s fast and strong in duels, they are the three options and I’m confident in all of them.”