March 23, 2023

Dubai Week

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FC Barcelona accused of corruption in case of paying referees

The cases by the public prosecutor in Barcelona target the club in its legal capacity, apart from its former presidents Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell.

The case concerned alleged payments by Barcelona to Negrera, a former vice-chairman of the Technical Referee Committee, to provide consultancy and verbal advice on referee-related topics.

Charges were also brought against Oscar Krau and Albert Soler, two former members of Bartomeu’s team.

“FC Barcelona obtained and maintained a highly confidential oral agreement with José María Enriquez Negrera, whereby he acted as vice president of the technical refereeing committee and, for money, performed actions favoring FC Barcelona in the decisions of the referees in matches. The club played, and as a result, in the results and matches,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges the Catalan club paid Negrera a total of more than €7.3 million between 1994 and 2018.

The allegations come days after current Barcelona president Joan Laborda confirmed his club “never bought referees”.

“Let’s be clear, Barcelona have never bought referees and Barca have never had any intention of buying referees,” Laporta said on Tuesday.

Last month, Laborta launched a violent attack on Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish Football League, accusing him of “creating a campaign against Barcelona”.

And Debas felt Laborta should resign, “if he doesn’t explain well or more logically why” the club paid this money to Enriques Negrera.

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