Bad news for FC Barcelona once again! As reliable media reports, the Spanish public prosecutor’s office will file a complaint against the Spanish top club for corruption. This was reported on Tuesday, among others, by the newspaper “El Pais” and the state television station RTVE. These in turn refer to the judiciary of the country. The leader of the Spanish LaLiga is suspected of having influenced referees by paying millions in recent years.
The radio station “Cadena Ser” revealed in mid-February that the Spanish judicial authorities had opened investigations into suspected “corruption between private individuals” months ago. But what exactly happened? Between 2001 and 2018, FC Barcelona is said to have transferred almost seven million euros for so-called advisory services to a company owned by the then Vice President of the Referee Committee (CTA), Jose María Enríquez Negreira. The public prosecutor’s office confirmed this information when asked by dpa.
Both representatives of the club and Enríquez Negreira admitted the business connections, but denied the allegation of corruption. Barça’s current club president Joan Laporta said weeks ago in a first reaction that he suspected ulterior motives: “It is no coincidence that this information is being published right now, when Barça is doing well.” The association has taken advantage of advisory services. But that was “very normal in football at the big clubs,” he asserted. On Tuesday, the club boss again assured: “Barça has never bought referees.”
Enríquez Negreira was a referee in the first division of Spain between 1977 and 1992 and then vice-president of the CTA between 1994 and 2018. In an interview with “Cadena Ser”, the 77-year-old emphasized that as CTA Vice President he had never given FC Barcelona preferential treatment in any decision or referee appointment. His company Dasniel 95 SL verbally advised the club on how the players should behave depending on the referee.
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