Real Madrid have decided to recuse the judge (Juan Antonio Landaberea) who proposed a four-match ban for their midfielder Fede Valverde, after he allegedly punched Villarreal’s Alex Baena in the parking lot of the Santiago Bernabeu in April.
The club considers that the judge has shown a lack of impartiality and objectivity in his report, which was sent to the competition committee for a final decision.
According to sources close to Real Madrid, the club believes that the judge has exaggerated the severity of Valverde’s action, which were allegedly provoked by Baena’s insults to his family and his unborn son during and after the game. For one, Landabera is the one who decided there was not enough evidence of racism in the famous Juan Cala and Diakhaby incident, but used the same parameters to punish Valverde despite not having enough evidence as well.
Landabera also used Alvaro Odriozola’s words as evidence, but the Spanish right-back, who was a witness to the altercation between Valverde and Baena, only stated that there was “a strong verbal discussion between his teammate and the Villarreal player.”
Real Madrid have already submitted their recusal request, along with evidence and testimonies that support their version of the events. The club hopes that the competition committee will appoint a new judge to review the case and issue a fairer sanction for Valverde.