Speaking out against Barcelona president Joan Laporta ahead of Sevilla's three clashes against the Catalans in January, Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido has accused the Barca supremo of 'belittling' his own club with his politically charged statements in recent weeks, as reported by Sevilla's official website.
"I am Joan's friend, but I consider it to be a great error to politicise Barca, and for him to have used his position to express his political ideas belittles Barca. The Murcian, the Galician, the Basque, who is also a Cule must feel embarrassed and alienated by the Catalan-ism that he espouses."
"Instead of having opened Catalan pride to the world, he has done the very opposite. We have been open by saying 'play with us, we are all the same' because we believe that we must include the Galician, Asturian, Murcian and Catalan. We want all of us to be unique parts of a whole."
Del Nido's comments are the latest in a saga of politically charged statements that have dominated the headlines of Spanish football in recent weeks. Pep Guardiola referred to Catalunya as 'our country with our own language' and Laporta commented that 'without a state of its own, Catalunya is dead'.
Barca meet Sevilla in a two-legged Copa del Rey tie immediately after the winter break, to add to a meeting in La Liga.
Cyrus C. Malek, Goal.com