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May 16, 2011

Busquets racism complaint dismissed

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has been cleared to play in the Champions League final after UEFA dismissed racism charges levelled against him by Real Madrid.

Madrid accuse Busquets of racism

Madrid released footage on their in-house TV channel of Busquets shouting in the direction of Marcelo during the 2-0 win for the Catalans in the Champions League semi-final, which was captioned with the words "mono, mono" ("monkey, monkey").

However, UEFA has opted not to hit the Spain international with a ban that would have seen him miss out on the Champions League final with Manchester United on May 28.

''Sergio Busquets will play in the Champions League final,'' said the statement on Barcelona's website. ''UEFA has notified FC Barcelona they have dismissed the claims of Real Madrid.''

UEFA revealed the allegations against Busquets had been thrown out because of a lack of evidence.

A statement UEFA's website read: ''The chairman of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, acting as a judge sitting alone, has today decided to dismiss the complaint lodged by Real Madrid CF for racial abuse against its player Marcelo by FC Barcelona player Sergio Busquets in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between the clubs in Madrid on 27 April, due to a lack of strong and convincing evidence.''

Earlier this week, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola publicly addressed the issue and made a strong statement of support for Busquets, saying: "All I would say is that I have known Sergio for a long time and if he tells me something I believe him because I know him."

Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka unequivocally condemned the player, claiming: "My view is the same as that which was expressed in the statement issued by the club … everyone saw what he did."

The incident was one of several in an ill-tempered tie between the two Primera Division giants, with both clubs lodging complaints to UEFA after the first leg.

Madrid were unhappy with the behaviour of the opposing players and the red card shown to Pepe, while Barca protested over Madrid coach Jose Mourinho's post-match comments alluding to favours from UEFA in big Champions League games and questioning the Catalan club's relationship with the European governing body.

The complaints were dismissed by UEFA, with Mourinho later handed a five-game European ban for his outbursts.

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