Football: Barca slam media ‘attack’ on Messi entourage

BARCELONA - Barcelona boss Sandro Rosell on Thursday sharply criticised an "attack" by media seeking to link star striker Lionel Messi's family with an alleged Colombian drug money laundering operation.

"The Interior Ministry and the Guardia Civil have totally and explicitly disassociated Leo Messi's entourage from any open judicial investigation," Rosell told a news conference.

"Even so, the attack on the player's entourage has not stopped," the club president said.

Messi's agents have hotly denied a Spanish newspaper allegation that his father is suspected of being involved in an operation to launder Colombian drug money through charity football matches.

Spain's police and the Interior Ministry say a Colombian promoter is suspected of laundering drug money through concerts and sporting events in Spain, South America and the United States.

But they say there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Messi, his family or other players who featured in charity football matches organised by the Colombian promoter at the centre of the affair.