Connect with us

Sports

Barcelona under investigation for suspected ref bribery

Published




Barcelona have been charged with suspected bribery for payments worth more than €7 million ($7.3m) made to companies linked to the former vice president of the refereeing committee, José María Enríquez Negreira.

Former Barça presidents Josep María Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell also stand accused of the same charges, as do Negreira and his son, Javier Enríquez Romero.

The charges come after a Spanish court accepted a complaint lodged by prosecutors in March and opened an investigation.

MORE READING!  Kenyan woman names triplets after Arsenal footballers

In Spain, a bribery offence only requires proof that a public official or authority has requested money or some compensation to make an influenced decision within the scope of their powers.

Barça paid Negreira’s companies more than €7m between 2001 and 2018 while he was the vice president of the refereeing committee. He had previously been a referee in the Spanish top flight.

Barca president Joan Laporta has said the payments were for “technical reports about referees” and denied the club has ever “bought referees or influence.”

MORE READING!  Foden shines as City sink Man Utd in derby comeback

However, prosecutors accused Rosell and Bartomeu of having an agreement with Negreira in which “he would carry out actions aimed at favouring Barca in the decision-making of the referees in the matches played by the club and thus in the results of the competitions.”

Addressing the issue on Thursday, Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez said he has never had the feeling that the club have benefitted from refereeing.

MORE READING!  Kenyan woman names triplets after Arsenal footballers

“You know my opinion,” Xavi said. “I have never had the feeling that the club have benefitted from refereeing. Never.

“I don’t have time to reflect on much more than that, I’m focused on sporting issues. Next week there will be another Negreira story, in 15 days another and then more a month.”

 

 

Advertisement
Comments



Trending