Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann,Madrid, Spain | AFP | Atletico Madrid reported Barcelona to football’s governing body FIFA over illegal contact made to star forward Antoine Griezmann, Atletico club sources confirmed on Tuesday.“The complaint has been presented for repeated contact between Barcelona, the player and his team,” an Atletico source told AFP.Griezmann renewed his contract until 2022 in June and Atletico consider contact made by Barcelona not only breaks FIFA’s rules, but could also affect the integrity of La Liga.Barcelona lead the league with Atletico their closest challengers six points behind in second.“He is a player under a long contract and this can’t happen. Moreover, the club considers that it could affect the competition where Barca are currently top and Atletico second,” added the Atletico source.Barca were slapped with a one-year transfer ban for the illegal recruitment of foreign minors by FIFA that was served in 2015.Should the Catalan giants be found guilty, they could be handed another ban on registering new players.“We can confirm that we have received a complaint from Atletico de Madrid concerning the said matter,” a FIFA spokesperson told AFP.Barcelona-based sports daily Mundo Deportivo reported on Sunday that Barca’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu had recently met with Griezmann’s family.The Catalan giants are expected to be willing to pay the French international’s 100 million euro ($117.8 million) buyout clause at the end of the season to avoid negotiating with Atletico.Barca’s director of institutional relations Guillermo Amor turned down the opportunity to deny a meeting had taken place later on Sunday after Barca’s 4-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna. “If the paper says it then it is possible it is like that,” Amor told Movistar TV. “There could have been a coming together.”Griezmann, 26, agreed to sign a new contract with Atletico in June after the club had an appeal against a transfer ban rejected.Top scorer at Euro 2016, Griezmann said it would have been “dirty” to walk out on the club when they couldn’t replace him until January.However, Atletico coach Diego Simeone accepted last week that Griezmann’s departure at some point in the future is inevitable.“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, as Diego Costa, Diego Ribas and Arda Turan have gone,” Simeone told French sports daily L’Equipe.“If a player comes to me and says, ‘coach, I have a chance of a lifetime and want to leave’, and if he’s left everything on the pitch for me like Griezmann, I’ll say, ‘no problem’.”Griezmann has scored 90 goals in 179 games for Atletico since joining from Real Sociedad in 2014 and led Los Rojiblancos to the 2016 Champions League final, scoring twice to eliminated Barca in the quarter-finals.However, he was also caught up in a Twitter storm on Sunday after posting a picture of himself blacked up and mimicking a Harlem Globetrotter basketball player from the 1980s.“I recognise that it was clumsy of me. If I have offended people, I apologise,” he wrote shortly after and deleted the photo after receiving a wave of criticism.Share on: WhatsApp
By Joseph SapiaMIDDLETOWN – The Route 35 Village proposal resumes before the township Planning Board on Wednesday, but only the commercial aspect is expected to be on the agenda.The board will resume hearing the application for the Shoppes at Middletown – 338,455 square feet of retail, restaurant and movie theater space with 1,786 parking spaces. The Shoppes are to be built on 52 acres along Route 35 of the overall 118-acre tract.The land is bounded by Route 35 North, Kings Highway East, Carriage Drive and Kanes Lane. While it has some businesses and homes on it, it is mostly woods and open space – and is probably best known as home of the Calico the Clown/Spirits Unlimited liquor store sign.The applicant for the Shoppes at Middletown is John Orrico/Village 35 of Purchase, New York.On the rear 66 acres, or at the Carriage Drive end of the property, Toll Brothers of Horsham, Pennsylvania, proposes the Oaks at Middletown, a 350-townhouse complex. The 350 townhouses break down to 280 units at open-market price and 70 units of “affordable housing.”In June, the Planning Board consolidated the commercial and residential applications for the 118 acres. Planning Board Chairman John Deus said the consolidation was to bring clarity on hearing the proposals to the board and public – allowing engineering, traffic and other related components of the commercial and residential applications to be heard at the same time.But the township Planning and Community Development Department is not expected to deem the residential application complete in time for the Sept. 7 meeting.Toll Brothers filed the Oaks at Middletown application May 27, said the development’s lawyer, John A. Giunco. But the Planning and Community Development Department requested more information on “various engineering and supporting reports,” Giunco said. “They wanted more detail.” Toll Brothers resubmitted the application Thursday, Aug. 25, Giunco said. He said the Planning and Community Development Department has 45 days to review it – which would expire the week of Oct. 9.“We’re ready to move before the board, but it’s unlikely the board will be able (to hear the Oaks at Middletown application beginning Sept. 7),” Giunco said.The Planning Board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the municipal complex at the corner of Route 35 South and Kings Highway.This will be the third appearance for the Shoppes at Middletown. So far, only the engineering aspects of the Shoppes at Middletown have been heard by the board.Orrico says he will not discuss the project outside of the hearings as long as they go on. The site, which has seen various unsuccessful development proposals over the last two decades, has drawn the scrutiny of the public. For example, there is a “Stop Village 35” Facebook page.Cindy Squassoni, who lives in the Heritage Hills development of single-family homes at the Carriage Drive end of the property and is one of the opponent leaders, said there is a “right to build” on the property. But she raised various concerns – the size of the project, its lack of open space being preserved, traffic, drainage, aesthetics and impact on schools.“Traffic is horrifying in my mind,” said Squassoni. “Pretty much our neighborhood is going to be a shortcut between (Routes) 35 and 36.”As for the schools, “they’re filled to capacity, as is,” she said.The 118 acres has not yet been subdivided, Giunco said. The property is owned by Mountain Hill LLC, which is the local Azzolina-Scaduto family.