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Linan Serra to challenge Laporta for Barcelona presidency

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, Aug 2 (Reuters) Barcelona club member Francesc Linan Serra has said he wants to stand against Joan Laporta in the European champions' presidential election being held on September 3.

The former Barcelona handball player needs to collect the signatures required to become an official candidate, something he has failed to achieve in previous election campaigns.

''The club's sporting success has diverted attention away from many things,'' said Linan Serra. ''If things are going so well financially, I don't see why ticket prices can't come down.'' Linan Serra is the only person to have stepped forward so far to challenge Laporta, since he and his board resigned on July 26 to stand for re-election.

Laporta's former vice-president Sandro Rossell, and Jordi Majo and Josep Maria Minguella who stood in the 2003 election, have said they will not join the race.

Potential candidates have complained about the scheduling of the electoral campaign during the holidays, throwing up the possibility that Laporta could stand unopposed.

Two weeks ago, Judge Roberto Garcia Ceniceros upheld a complaint from three club members who said Laporta had already served his four-year tenure as president.

He ruled that, according to the club's statutes, the year ran from July to June, and that since Laporta had officially taken power on June 22, 2003 the eight days before the end of that month constituted his first year in office.

Laporta's four-year term would, therefore, have expired on June 30 this year.

REUTERS DH BD2043

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