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Barca president Laporta to resign for new election

MADRID, July 21 (Reuters) - Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said he and his board will step down next Wednesday, to set in motion a presidential election at the club, as ordered by a Spanish judge earlier in the week.

'I intend to stand again in the election to defend the interests of Barcelona,' Laporta told a news conference on Friday, after an emergency board meeting.

On Wednesday Judge Roberto Garcia Ceniceros upheld a complaint from three club members who said Laporta had already served his four-year tenure.

He ruled that according to the club's statutes the year ran from July to June, and that as Laporta officially took power on June 22, 2003 the period before the end of that month constituted his first year in office.

Laporta's four-year term would therefore have expired on June 30 this year.

The club said they would be appealing against the ruling.