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Apr, 25, 2013

Malaga chief renews attack on UEFA

Malaga owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani has returned to Twitter to criticise both UEFA and the Spanish football authorities in the wake of the crushing Champions League defeats suffered by La Liga sides in Germany this week. Al-Thani claimed that "corruption" and "racism" were to blame for his side's dramatic late exit from the competition in early April, in incendiary tweets sent both minutes after the quarter-final second leg's final whistle and again the following day. Following Dortmund's 4-1 hammering of Real Madrid, and Barcelona's crushing 4-0 defeat at Bayern Munich, the Qatari returned to the social networking site to send a new series of similarly strong messages, in grammatically dubious English and Spanish, to his more than 340,000 followers. These reiterated his previous claims and said the boot was on the other foot now that Spain's big two were the ones who had been beaten. "First, I'm sorry for the Spanish teams such losses in European Championship [sic] I hope refer to my comment in the past," Al-Thani tweeted. "I mentioned there is a catastrophe will get in the Spanish league. And if it is not aware of this matter is resolved as soon as will crumble clubs from four to five years.

Malaga are currently appealing a one-season competition ban, imposed by UEFA due to financial irregularities such as non-payment of wages at the club. The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] is to rule on an appeal to the ban by the Andalucians in June. Al-Thani has also previously been critical of both the footballing authorities and media in Madrid, which he has claimed favour Barcelona and Madrid over smaller rivals, and do not like rich foreigners coming into their sport. Boquerones coach Manuel Pellegrini, reportedly a target of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, was critical of the performance of Scottish referee Craig Thomson, who allowed clearly offside goals for both Malaga and Dortmund in their second leg. Pellegrini has not commented on Al-Thani's more serious allegations and continues to ask for the owners to put the club's finances in order. Al-Thani first poured over €200 million into Malaga when he arrived almost three years ago, but abruptly withdrew financial support about 12 months ago. Club vice-president Moayad Shatat followed up his boss' previous outbursts by claiming at a press conference that his side had been "expelled" from Europe.

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