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Betis and Sevilla renew their deep-seated animosity


Luis Medina Cantalejo’s appointment as head of the Referees Committee was a move which had Betis supporters very worried; they accuse him of having an inclination to favour Sevilla. One observer even predicted problems ahead for Real Madrid in LaLiga, seeing as Sevilla are hot on their heels in second place. The poor refereeing by Alejandro Muñiz Ruiz and Xavier Estrada Fernández during the Rayo-Betis game only further fuelled that phobia and resulted in threats being made to Medina and members of his family. His home was guarded by a police cordon - a precaution which was ridiculed by Betis supporters. With that backdrop, radical fans went to Sunday’s Cup tie already worked up and the simmering negativity boiled over when one fan threw a plastic pole which struck Jordán on the head.

What followed was a chain of events which led to heated exchanges and accusations aimed at the coaches - both of them outsiders and therefore not inherently involved in the rivalry. Betis fans felt that Jordán made a meal out of the incident, and was actively encouraged to do so by Lopetegui - in attempt to get the game suspended. Sevilla fans on the other hand, are outraged that blame is being directed at the victim, who remained in observation while the match was completed but trained as normal yesterday. Now Betis fear they will be hit with a fine - which they rightly deserve, and Sevilla have been dumped out of the Cup by their eternal rivals. Both of them feel aggrieved.

The fan who threw the pole was arrested yesterday. It turns out that he has previous convictions, like many others who attend games in that part of the ground. And in the meantime, there has been an endless flood of tweets, memes, taunting and accusations flying back and forth - and not just between members of the public, but between the media departments of both clubs. Sadly, in Seville, the embers of the brutal past of an old rivalry between two of our clubs are glowing again, opening up old wounds. And in six weeks’ time we have another derby, this time at the Pizjuán…


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