Barcelona's new coach Tito
Vilanova refused to contribute to the controversy over the
lifting of Jose Mourinho's and his bans after last year's
infamous eye-poke incident as he started work at the Nou Camp on
Pep Guardiola's former assistant, who has since stepped up
to the top job, was deliberately poked in the eye by Real Madrid
boss Mourinho during a melee on the touchline at the end of last
season's Spanish Super Cup between the sides.
"What happened in that game, that is still being talked
about a year further on, I am tired of it," Vilanova told a news
The Spanish federation (RFEF) imposed a two-match Super Cup
ban on Mourinho, and one on Vilanova for reacting to the
aggression by pushing him away.
Last week, newly re-instated federation president Angel
Maria Villar lifted the punishments as part of a general
amnesty, something he has traditionally done to players and
coaches after sealing re-election.
The ruling prompted an angry reaction from Barcelona with
club spokesman Toni Freixa saying Mourinho's actions could not
be allowed to go unpunished.
"The one-man panel imposed a sanction, the president decided
on an amnesty [for us], and I accept it. It has worked this way
for many years," Vilanova added.
"The biggest punishment the two of us will have are the
images, that people will be able to see for many years."
Vilanova was giving his first news conference since the club
returned to start pre-season training on Monday and inevitably
he was asked if there was any lingering bad blood between him
and the coach of their arch-rivals, the La Liga champions.
"Mourinho has already greeted me at the Bernabeu in the
league [since then], and I don't think we have a bad
relationship," he said.
Barcelona resume their rivalry with Real Madrid in the
Spanish Super Cup, the traditional curtain-raiser to the new
season between the league champions and the King's Cup winners
The first leg is at the Nou Camp on August 23, with the return
at the Bernabeu on August 29.
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