Barcelona clarify Abidal non-payment claims
Barcelona have clarified claims from their former player Eric Abidal that they did not pay the Frenchman during the period he was absent from the game as he underwent a liver transplant.
Abidal had told French newspaper L'Equipe in an interview on Friday that the club had not paid him during his illness and that their decision not to renew his contract just months after his return to the field had been difficult to take.
The Monaco defender was diagnosed with a tumour on his liver in March 2011 and after briefly returning to first-team action was forced onto the sidelines for over a year to undergo the transplant in March 2012.
However, in a statement released on the club's website, Barca said they have since been in contact with Abidal and claim they complied fully with their contractual obligations.
"Given the declarations of Eric Abidal on the website of L'Equipe, FC Barcelona have been in contact with the player and his representative to clarify that the confusion created by the phrase 'in the months that I was ill the club didn't pay me," read the statement.
"Both parties confirm that the club has complied properly with its contractual obligations that it had signed with the French player."
The statement goes onto say that even though the club were aware that Abidal could need a transplant in the future, they still offered him a new contract after the tumour was first discovered and did not exercise the option they had to rescind said contract when it became known the player would need the transplant.
Instead Abidal's playing contract with the club was suspended by mutual consent until he was fit enough to play again and during this time the player continued to receive monthly payments from the club.
The club however did not offer the 33-year-old a new deal at the end of last season, leaving him free to join Monaco on a free transfer in July.