After being eliminated by FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, Espanyol has lodged a formal complaint with the Anti-violence Committee against Barça fans, as well as two players: Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets.
Solicitud de investigación a la Comisión Antiviolencia sobre las declaraciones de los jugadores del FC Barcelona Piqué Bernabéu y Busquets Burgos, y los cánticos insultantes de la Grada de Animación del Camp Nou.https://t.co/hV52gbjQjK#RCDE pic.twitter.com/VFNZnlPZes— RCD Espanyol (@RCDEspanyol) January 26, 2018
The fans allegedly chanted “I hate Espanyol,” “death to Espanyol,” “Pericos, bastards,” “Pericos, you belong to the Chinese,” “Perico, remember, you are sh*t,” and “sons of b*tches from Espanyol.”
The one that says “death” to Espanyol can be classified as violent, the rest, while certainly insulting and sometimes vulgar, seems pretty standard for a sporting event if you ask me.
We have to bring up the fact that Espanyol fans have chanted much worse things in the past. Particularly, they’ve chanted and brought banners insulting Piqué’s family (his partner, Shakira, and their son were the subject of shameful attacks.)
And in the first leg, Espanyol threw objects on the pitch. One even hit Jasper Cillessen in the face. If it hit his eye, that could cause a serious injury for a goalkeeper.
Now, one bad deed does not cancel the other, but keep in mind that this is the sort of behavior they’ve permitted on their ground when you read how offended they are by words coming the other way.
In any case, if Espanyol wanted to denounce a few chants that went out of line (and if they indeed were chanted), that’d be fine. But the team has overstepped its bounds and made themselves look very silly going after the two players.
Here’s what Piqué said:
“I’m against all insulting chants, in Barça’s stadium or in Espanyol’s stadium. We hope these do not occur... We know that Espanyol of Cornellà always plans to shut down the game at the Camp Nou... Playing against Espanyol of Cornellà is always a special match. They beat us 1-0 over there, they had their week of glory, but in the end we were able to qualify. ”
Piqué was making a subtle dig that Espanyol play their matches in nearby Cornellà, basically saying they’re not really from Barcelona. Espanyol are officially called “Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona”, and he was making a point to say a different thing.
They were not too happy:
Just like Sant Adrià del Besòs is the home to our Ciudad Deportiva Dani Jarque, Cornellà de Llobregat and el Prat de Llobregat are the cities which are home to our RCDE stadium. Both cities belong to the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, and they’re known for being the two cities with the largest population in Catalonia, mainly working families, with roots from all of Spain and other countries, who are and will be always an example of integration and progress and a point of pride for our land. We consider that any manifestation in a disrespectful tone towards these cities, like the ones said and repeated by Mr. Piqué, towards the city of Cornellà, flirt very dangerously with xenophobic attitudes, that, in any case, generate clearly violence and intolerance.
That’s a little dramatic isn’t it? Sure, he’s making a little jab, but to say he’s creating xenophobic attitudes or generating violence?
All he said was they were from Cornellà. Piqué had responded to criticism earlier, saying: “well, they are from Cornellà, right?”
Now, here’s what Busquets said:
“We were better than the scoreboard reflects. Not only in the return leg but in the first leg, too. Maybe in the second half of the match in Cornellà, the game got a little crazy, a little rough. We didn’t deserve for them to go ahead. But in the end things fell into place. It looked like they had already gotten to the next round with the 1-0 in Cornellà. They celebrated it like they had gone to the next round, but these ties last 180 minutes, and we have shown we are the better team by far. We are the ones in semifinals.”
Busquets was referencing Espanyol’s celebrations after winning the first leg, which included a special discount on shirts of goalscorer Óscar Melendo.
Espanyol didn’t like that one either:
“It’s inconceivable that a sportsperson state that a rival cannot celebrate a victory, achieved with effort and good fight, the way our team achieved in the first leg of the tie. This celebration was focused on congratulating our goalscorer, whose path as an academy player is the pride of our fans. We consider Busquets’s declarations to be totally contrary to the values of respect in football and they can be generators of violence and intolerance, incomprehensibly censoring after their advancement to semifinals that our team celebrated a victory and a partial advantage agains the highest-paid squad in the whole planet.”
Ok, what are they even talking about? While a 1-0 win is a good achievement for a team of Espanyol’s economic power against one of the most powerful teams in the world, and while it’s nice that the goalscorer was an academy player, they still went out.
Espanyol isn’t some third division team, they’ve been in the top flight for a long time and they should probably aim to knock out any team if they beat them 1-0 in the first leg. Leganés are in the semis, and they’re not richer than Espanyol.
Putting aside that argument though, generating violence? Really? Busquets has said nothing too strong, let alone capable of generating violence. Why are they clutching their pearls so much over this?
Espanyol should have left this well enough alone. They’re coming across as sore losers.