Thu, Jun 27, 2013 - Page 18 News List

FIFA: Spain players slam ‘false’ reports of booze, women

AP, FORTALEZA, Brazil

Spain’s Santi Cazorla, left, controls a ball next to teammate David Villa at a training session at Fortaleza, Brazil, on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Spain’s players have denied that a robbery at a hotel in the first week of the Confederations Cup was linked to a party with women from outside the team’s traveling party.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has acknowledged that six of its players were robbed at the team hotel, but Spain defender Jordi Alba on Tuesday said the reports in Brazilian media are “totally false.”

Teammate Sergio Ramos said the reports are playing with the reputations of the Spain players and “attempting to discredit with lies a generation of football players who have shown themselves to be the best.”

“You can’t play with a country with a reputation like Spain that has a super clean image,” Ramos said. “You also can’t play with families, with the children we have, with girlfriends. To put all of this in doubt by inventing a serious story. In this regard, I hope the law does what is merited.”

Brazilian reported that the theft was connected to a team party following a 2-1 victory over Uruguay in Recife on Jun. 17.

The federation, which had previously declined to give specifics about the incident, issued a statement late on Monday “categorically” denying the report.

“It’s in the hands of the police,” Ramos said. “We are relaxed about it. Our consciences are very clean... We are not here to talk about parties. We’re here to play our game, which has made us world champions and champions of Europe, and now we have to win this tournament. We are not here to comment more about people who lie.”

Brazilian media, citing employees of the hotel and security officials, reported that women from outside the Spanish delegation and alcohol were involved in the party at the team’s hotel in Recife.

“Six national team players were the subject of a robbery at the team’s hotel in Recife... This was reported in a timely manner to the Brazilian police,” the federation said. “This statement is not an attack against the organizing committee, nor against FIFA, nor the country of Brazil, which has welcomed the Spanish team. An event like this could take place anywhere in the world, including Spain.”

“Since then, a series of verbal attacks on our players has been published, which the RFEF totally rejects and profoundly condemns. They damage the honor of the players and their family and friends,” the statement added.

The statement concluded by saying that the only aim of the reports was to “cause harm to the good name of the players on the team, who have demonstrated good conduct, professionalism and exemplary behavior for many years.”

Spain defender Gerard Pique, one of the players reported by Brazilian media to have been involved, called the reports “a total lie.”

World Cup winners Spain face Italy today in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.

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