Revista: Spanish Spitting image
By Jamie Hunt
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Guillem Balague explains why Spain is more tolerant of footballers spitting.
Revista de la Liga
In England, El Hadji Diouf would have been hung, drawn and quartered for it, if the most ardent disciplinarians had their way. In Spain, sorry seems to the final word.
Spitting - pretty much everybody in the beautiful game is in agreement that it should not be part of football, but there are cultural differences between countries, according to Guillem Balague, that allow the offence to be punished differently in varying leagues.
Guillem was talking on Sky's Revista de la Liga in the wake of Valencia's Pablo Aimar spitting at Deportivo la Coruna's Joan Capdevila after a collision in the weekend's La Liga clash at the Mestalla.
After breaking his nose in the incident - video suggests the damage was his own fault - Aimar reacted angrily at Depor's centre-half, spitting at him as he walked away. The ultimate sin in England; not to so in Spain, says Guillem, who was more than a little cynical though about how the matter was handled.
"It was not seen by the referee and Deportivo did nothing about it either," he says. "There is a suggestion that the Federeation, through the competition committee, could apply the rules and ban him.
"Probably the Federation are not going to do anything about it. Cleverley though Valencia announced very publicly on Sunday that it was so bad that Aimar would have to have an operation on Sunday. And he was in training on Monday - miracles of science!
"It was a bit of marketing by Valancia saying he has had his punishment, let's leave it that. I have the impression that Federation won't do anything about it.
"Every time I talk about spitting and Spain, people have a go at me. It is bad, but it is not as bad as breaking a leg. I know in England people will think it is as bad, but I disagree.
"Generally, Spanish people would think that it is a bad gesture, and not very sporting, but he apologised at the end of the match, and that is the end of it.
"I know here it would be completely different."