Laporta claims Bartomeu lied over Barcelona's sponsorship deal with Qatar

Laporta claims Bartomeu lied over Barcelona's sponsorship deal with Qatar
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Published October 29th, 2015 - 23:34 GMT via

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Bartomeu is lying about 'embarrassing' Qatar - Laporta
Bartomeu is lying about 'embarrassing' Qatar - Laporta

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims president Josep Maria Bartomeu has lied to socios over the side's sponsorship agreement with Qatar and says the association with the oil-rich state is "an embarrassment" for the Catalan club.

Bartomeu (then vice-president) and former club chief Sandro Rosell unveiled a lucrative deal with Qatar when the pair succeeded Laporta at Barca in 2010 and Barca's shirts featured a sponsor in 2011-12 for the first time in the club's history.

That saw Qatar Foundation - and more recently Qatar Airways - replace charity Unicef on the front of Barca's jerseys, but the links with the south-west Asian nation have been criticised by socios and a number of key figures - including Laporta and fellow 2015 presidential candidate Agusti Benedito.

Despite those doubts and criticism of human rights in Qatar, Bartomeu is now pushing for a new shirt sponsorship deal for the 2016-17 season following his re-election in the summer and Laporta believes Barca's image is being damaged as a result.

"I am embarrassed by the presence of Qatar on the Barca shirt," he told French station RMC in an interview. "We have a president who is a liar. He lies when he speaks of Qatar, saying that Barca cannot survive without them. This isn't true.

"They (the current Barca directors) speak only about money. When I was president, we had no problems in maintaining the economic structure. They have special interests with Qatar."

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