Real Madrid respond to referee bribery accusation after ex-police commissioner claims 'no one dares' to prosecute Florentino Perez

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As The Athletic reports, Jose Manuel Villarejo recently alleged that the Real Madrid president paid off match officials in an explosive interview with Spanish publication RAC 1.

The ex-police commissioner made the claims when discussing the ongoing scandal at Barcelona that has seen the club charged over alleged payments to the former vice-president of Spanish football’s refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

Negreira is also facing charges of corruption alongside Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, both of whom took in a spell as Barcelona president during the final eight years of the referees chief's tenure between 2010 and 2018.

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Barca have always denied any wrongdoing, but Villarejo claims that Real have engaged in similar practices, as he told RAC 1: "All presidents have done it. Florentino Perez too. Somehow, at Real Madrid, before this (Negreira case) the same thing had already been detected.

"It is impossible to prosecute anything that involves Perez. It would be suicide for anyone who dares to do so. Florentino is untouchable."

Real Madrid have released an official statement responding to the allegations, confirming that Perez has already initiated legal proceedings against Villarejo for his "false accusations".

The statement in full reads: "The president of Real Madrid C.F., Florentino Perez, has ordered the immediate filing of the corresponding legal action against the ex-commissioner Villarejo for the false accusations made on the Catalan radio station RAC1."

Villarejo was arrested on charges of bribery and extortion in 2017 and went on trial four years later.

Real Madrid are currently preparing for a Champions League group stage clash with Napoli, which will take place at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Tuesday night.