Spanish Sports Writer Claims ‘Jewish Lobby’ Pressuring Barcelona to Ditch Qatar Sponsorship
Spanish sports commentator Xavier Bosch wrote a column this week claiming a “Jewish lobby” and the Mossad were influencing the FC Barcelona soccer club.
In his latest op-ed for Mundo Deportivo, Bosch accused lobbyists with “unlimited money and inordinate influence” of trying to “control the world and its international institutions.” He warned against allowing a “Jewish lobby” to put pressure on Barcelona to end its $200 million shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation.
Additionally, he said “Mossad agents” had infiltrated the club for years, perhaps referring to reports that former Barcelona president Joan Laporta hired detectives to spy on players. Laporta is again running for president of FC Barcelona in elections scheduled for July 18.
Spanish pro-Israel group Hatzad Hasheni said it was “despicable” that Mundo Deportivo — the oldest sports publication still in circulation in Spain — would “provide Xavier Bosch with a platform to recite … the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” It called Bosch’s lobbyist and Mossad accusations “plain wrong.”
The group said it was “appalled and hurt” that Deportivo opted to publish the piece.
Bosch responded to claims his article was antisemitic, calling the allegations “a malicious misinterpretation of my piece.”
“I have full admiration for the Jewish people, I don’t harbor any sort of antisemitism,” he said.
According to the editor of the FC Barcelona section for Mundo Deportivo the newspaper does not “bowdlerize [Bosch’s] pieces.”
“This one is controversial, but it’s a good one,” gushed editor Fernando Polo. “[Bosch] is simply concerned about the external pressure [FC Barcelona] and its board are receiving against the Qatar sponsorship … Bosch just wants what’s best for the club, without opposition from outside. There is no antisemitism in his article. He is against any kind of lobby: French, German, Jewish.”
Boaz Vilallonga contributed to this report.