The ire of Spanish football is focused on Barcelona currently for El Caso Negreira, which was visually illustrated by the protests of Athletic Club fans on Sunday. Over the weekend Real Madrid also announced they would be joining the case against Barcelona as a witness, but one former referee has claimed they are not quite as white as their shirts.
Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez refereed in La Liga between 1995 and 2012, and now operates as an analyst for Cadena SER, where he remarks on decisions, but lately has been outspoken in his defence of refereeing innocence in El Caso Negreira.
Over the weekend Real Madrid TV released a slam video on Iturralde, which he responded to on Sunday night with a stunning claim.
“It is the modus operandi of this television (Real Madrid TV). Since they are journalists, who calls me to a separate room? Investigate it. So you can see how certain people try to put pressure on. In a 6-1 match against Deportivo or something like that, the game ends game, we left the field and the assistants go off with me. There is a person who puts me in a room and tells me: ‘I only ask you to whistle at me the same as Barca’.”
“He’s from Real Madrid. I ask him to see if he’s making a joke and I tell him that the conversation is over. He wanted to put me alone in the room, but I told him no. After half an hour the Technical Committee already knew of Referees (CTA). I brought it to their attention, it seemed very serious to me, but there it was. There was nothing. As those of Real Madrid TV are good journalists, let them investigate. I’m going to make their job easier: let them start from the top.”
Iturralde was coy on who that person was, but eventually revealed the culprit.
“It hasn’t happened to me more times, no president has put me in a separate room. I care about the facts. The one who put me in a separate room was Florentino Perez. I don’t have to hide. It happened. There is a CTA report, because I made it known. So they can see what it means to pressure. I’m not going to hide.”
Generally this sort of pressure would require some form of action from the organising bodies, as was the case when Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, when he charged through the Santiago Bernabeu trying to find the referee last season. That said the action was rather minimal, resulting in a one-game ban.
In the past Iturralde has said that refereeing in Spain is most difficult when you get ‘run over by the Real Madrid bus’, citing the media criticism and storm in Madrid surrounding referees. Once again it appears that bus is pursuing him.
2026 WCQ : “We have huge respect for Comoros” – Chris Hughton
Black Stars Head Coach, Chris Hughton says the results in the past against Comoros have zero significance on the game later today [November 21] at the OmniSports Stadium in Moroni in the ongoing 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Hughton’s assertion comes on the back of the last meeting between the two countries where Ghana got kicked out from the 2021 AFCON held in Cameroon following a 3-2 defeat to Comoros in the final group.
In his pre-match press conference, Hughton reiterated the team’s desire to win the game against Comoros and further expressed the team’s readiness to clinch all three points.
We have big respect for Comoros, they are a good team, but the results in the past have no significance.
It’s about the present, not the past.
I think as a football nation, they have come a long way, they have made very big steps and i congratulate them on that.
For now our preparations are not for the World Cup or the AFCON but it is for the game against Comoros. It is one game at a time.
The Black Stars of Ghana can go top of Group I with a win against Comoros in the second group game against the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Hughton’s men head into the clash with 3 points from the first group game against Madagascar at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
It will be the fourth meeting between the two countries after they last met in the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
For the FIFA World Cup qualifiers – this will be the second time the Black Stars will face Comoros.
The first leg of the 2015 FIFA World Cup qualifiers was played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi under former Coach Avram Grant.
Bofoakwa Tano handed temporary home ban by GFA
The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has ordered a temporary ban on Bofoakwa Tano FC from using the Sunyani Coronation Park as its home venue with immediate effect.
This decision has become necessary due to the unfortunate incidents after the Match Day 11 match between Bofoakwa Tano FC and Nsoatreman FC played on November 19, 2023.
The decision is in accordance with the GFA Premier League Regulations Article 14(2) which states among other things “the GFA may order the closure of any league centre where the safety of clubs, Match Officials or Spectators cannot be guaranteed.”’
The Competitions Department is therefore advised to determine the venue for the Club’s subsequent home matches in accordance with Article 14(3) Premier League Regulations.
However, This order is without prejudice to the determination of the pending case before the Disciplinary Committee which has been charged to hear the case in accordance with the relevant Regulations.
The GFA notes the unacceptable conduct of the supporters of the home team, Bofoakwa Tano FC and condemns same, without any reservations, the violations of the provisions of the GFA the Safety and Security Regulations and the Premier League Regulations which took place at the match.
The GFA Prosecutors have been tasked to study all the video evidence and the match reports and prefer appropriate Charges immediately and for the Disciplinary Committee to sit on this matter expeditiously.
The GFA demands that Bofoakwa Tano FC shall immediately assist the Regional Police to cause the arrest of the persons involved in this attack on the away team, and the holding of the match officials hostage, without fail, in accordance with the promise given by the clubs to the Inspector General of Police in our engagement with the leadership of the Ghana Police Service.
The Association has instructed the Competitions Department to fix the venues for the upcoming home matches of Bofoakwa Tano FC, until the case is determined, with due regard to the distance to be travelled by the away teams (note that matches can be fixed at the home of the away team if required).
All clubs are to take note and comply strictly with the Safety & Security Regulations and the GFA Disciplinary Code.
The GFA wishes to sound a strong note of caution to all members (especially all clubs) that the slightest harassment or attack on Players, Team Officials, Match Officials (Referees, Match Commissioners, GFA Cameramen and women, Venue Media Officers, the sports media) shall be dealt with severely and swiftly.
How French Ligue 1 side Le Havre introduced their latest signing, André Ayew
Ghana star Andre Ayew has made a sensational return to French football, signing for Ligue 1 side Le Havre on Saturday.
The 33-year-old attacking midfielder was presented to the Stade Oceane crowd ahead of Le Havre’s match against AS Monaco, marking his first appearance in the French top flight since leaving Olympique Marseille in 2015.
Ayew joins Le Havre as a free agent, having recently left Premier League side Nottingham Forest. His signing is a major coup for Les Ciel et Marine, who are currently seventh in Ligue 1 following their promotion from Ligue 2.
He will bring a wealth of experience to the squad, having played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Swansea City, West Ham, Fenerbahce, and Al Sadd.
Ayew’s arrival at Le Havre is significant not only for the club but also for the Black Stars with less than two months until the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in Ivory Coast.
Ayew will join his Black Stars teammates for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Madagascar and the Comoros Islands next week after signing his contract. His vast knowledge of the French league and his impressive goal-scoring record make him an asset to both club and country.
Le Havre fans are thrilled to see Ayew don the club’s colours, and they will be eagerly anticipating his debut. The former Marseille star is set to compete with Lille OSC loanee Mohamed Bayo for a starting spot in the team.
With Ayew’s expertise and leadership, Le Havre will look to consolidate their position in Ligue 1 and potentially mount a challenge for European places.