Current Date: 20 Apr, 2024

Barcelona faces corruption charges related to payments made to a former referee official

José Maria Enriquez Negreira, who served as the vice president of Spain's referees' committee from 1993 to 2018, allegedly received more than €7.3 million (£6.4 million) from the club.

Indictments for "corruption," "breach of trust," and "false business records" were made public in a Barcelona court on Friday, according to testimony from Barca, former club officials, and Negreira.


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According to the prosecution, Barcelona and Negreira established a covert arrangement that guaranteed favorable outcomes for the team in La Liga matches and other contests.

"FC Barcelona obtained and maintained a strictly confidential verbal arrangement with Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira so that, in his capacity as vice-president of the technical arbitral committee (CTA) and exchange for money, the latter carries out acts likely to favor FC Barcelona in judgments by the referees," the public prosecutor's office claimed.

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In a statement released last month, Barcelona denied any wrongdoing. Instead, it stated that the funds were received in exchange for 'technical reports relating to professional officiating' from an outside firm.

The La Liga heavyweights said it was "normal practice among professional football clubs." Still, La Liga CEO Javier Tebas suggested that Barcelona President Joan Laporta step down if he couldn't explain the payments.

Barca has never purchased referees, and Barca has never had the ambition to do so, ever, said Laporta earlier this week. 18 of the 20 La Liga clubs have voiced "great worry" over the charges, despite Barcelona's position.

Barcelona manager Xavi claimed he was unaware of the payments and would have departed if he believed his team had an unfair advantage. Xavi won eight La Liga championships at the Nou Camp between 1998 and 2015 and is currently the club's captain.

The Spain legend remarked, "I always wanted to win, but fairly. "If I had believed we were lying, I would have gone home."In the second position in La Liga, Real Madrid, Barcelona presently leads by nine points. Last month, Manchester United defeated Xavi's team in the Europa League semifinals.

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

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