Madrid’s Valverde to face no action for assault

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Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde will face no punishment over the alleged assault of Villarreal midfielder Álex Baena, after the Spanish football federation’s competition committee closed its file on the incident.

Valverde, 25, was alleged to have punched Baena in the car park at the Bernabeu after the teams met in LaLiga in April.

Earlier this month a judge halted a criminal investigation — launched after Baena filed a complaint with police — citing a lack of evidence.

Lawyers for Valverde and Madrid argued that given that decision, the competition committee’s own inquiry, which had the Uruguay international facing a five-game ban, should also see no further action taken.

In a ruling published on Tuesday, the committee accepted that argument, finding that once the criminal court had determined that “the commission of the offence that led to the case being formed had not been duly proven,” it had to follow suit.

As a result, the committee did not consider the substance of the allegations, the ruling said.

Valverde had risked missing the first five LaLiga games of this season, against Athletic Club, Almeria, Celta Vigo, Getafe and Real Sociedad.

Valverde and Baena had earlier clashed on the pitch during Villarreal’s surprise 3-2 win at the Bernabeu on April 8.

Sources at the time told ESPN that Valverde then waited by Villarreal’s team bus to confront Baena over comments he had made during the game, when the alleged incident occurred.

A day later, Villarreal released a statement saying that Baena had been assaulted and had decided to report the matter to the police.

Valverde made 34 league appearances for Madrid last season and scored twice in their 3-2 friendly win over AC Milan in Pasadena, California on Sunday.

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