Barcelona deny former president Rosell 'illegally bought' liver for Abidal

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A sensational allegation in Spain surfaced on Wednesday, with Sandro Rosell accused of buying an organ on the black market

Barcelona have denied that the club's former president Sandro Rosell bought a liver illegally in order to allow former defender Eric Abidal to undergo a transplant.

Abidal had a transplant in 2012 after doctors discovered a tumour in his liver.

A report from Spanish outlet El Confidencial has alleged that Rosell purchased the liver ahead of the surgery, utilising the black market.

It is alleged that Spanish police have tapped Rosell's phone, and intercepted text messages relating to the apparent crime. Rosell was arrested in 2017 for money laundering.

Barcelona, though, have issued a robust denial of the allegations, a statement reading: "Given the information published today in relation to the transplant to which the current technical secretary of the first football team Eric Abidal was subjected, FC Barcelona categorically denies any irregular in the matter, as has already been done by the interested party and those responsible for the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

"The information disseminated omits an important fact such as the file of this case was closed by a court in Barcelona, ​​dated on April 18. This omission has caused damage to the reputation of Eric Abidal, all of the organisations involved in the transplant procedures, of FC Barcelona, and former president Sandro Rosell.

"The club deeply regrets the lack of rigor in the dissemination of information related to such a sensitive topic, and reaffirms its commitment to Eric Abidal and his foundation, to help improve the lives of children and young people affected by similar medical treatments."

Abidal, now Barcelona's technical secretary, survived the operation and recovered, before leaving the club as a player in 2013 to join Monaco.

The former left-back was a key figure for both France and Barcelona throughout his career, winning four La Liga titles, two Champions League trophies, and two UEFA Super Cups, while also helping France to the 2006 World Cup final, where they were beaten by Italy.

Last week, a Spanish court ruled that Rosell will stand trial on charges of money laundering, in relation to the sale of television rights for Brazil matches, for which he remains in custody.

His lawyer, Pau Molins, rejected the claims relating to Abidal's transplant, and questioned the timing of the latest allegations against his client.

Speaking to RAC, as reported by Marca, he said: "It suits them to paint Sandro Rosell as a beast.

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"We don't know anything about this report, but it annoys me that it is coming out one year after he has been imprisoned and as he waits for trial.

"The conversation that has come out has absolutely nothing to do with the [other] case.

"I think they don't want to go to trial so they are bringing out things to see how to buy time and how to hide, because they don't know what to do with Rosell in prison."

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