ᑕ❶ᑐ The Spanish Federation speaks out after the opening of a judicial investigation against Barcelona in a case of corruption of referees
UN. Spanish (Site notre blog d’information) Federation activated this Wednesday (16) after the justice of Spain accept the complaint filed by the prosecutors against Barcelonathus opening an investigation into allegations of corruption involving referees.
Prosecutors filed a complaint against the Catalan club on Friday after the revelation of the payments made to José Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the arbitration committee.
In a press release, the RFEF said it had collaborated in the investigation. The entity reported the sending to UEFA of documents belonging to the Integrity Department of the Federation.
« The RFEF collaborating in the emblem with the authorities able to facilitate to the maximum the work of investigation of these events, which precede the current management », quotes the entity.
“It is worth recalling the undeniable commitment of the RFEF in this case, to open an internal investigation of knowledge of the incident. The Federation, ready to operate at all times, wants to go all the way and, in turn, asks for the necessary and preferable serenity to help alleviate the climate of tension that has been created vis-à-vis the arbitration community. » .
Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, former Barcelona presidents, Oscar Grau and Alber Soler, the club’s former managers, and José Maria Enriquez Negreira, who are among the defendants in the case. All of these accused are bribery in sport, bribery in business, false administration and falsification of business records.
See below the press release published by the Spanish Federation
« The Royal Spanish (Site notre blog d’information) Federation has ruled in the process, as the Barcelona Investigative Court has admitted the complaint of the Public Prosecutor’s Office concerns the payments made by FC Barcelona to the former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees, José Maria Enriquez Negreira. .
Moreover, after analyzing the situation, the RFEF has already sent the report of the UEFA Integrity Department and all related documentation to the UEFA Integrity Director.
The RFEF collaborates from the outset with the competent authorities to facilitate as much as possible the work of investigating these events which precede the current administration. UEFA has also been made aware of legal representation by the Royal Spanish (Site notre blog d’information) Federation. At the same time, said report prepared by the Integrity Department was sent to the CSD, with a copy to FC Barcelona and CTA.
It is worth recalling the undeniable commitment of the RFEF in this case, to open an internal investigation of knowledge of the incident. The Federation, ready to operate at all times, wants to go all the way and, in turn, asks for the necessary and preferable serenity to help alleviate the climate of tension that has been created vis-à-vis the arbitration community. . It’s not good for (Site notre bureau spécialisé). The application of justice requires time and the proof of the facts which can be considered as illicit.
Finally, the RFEF is grateful for the union of the refereeing group around the CTA, which brought together all the referees who currently carry out their work in professional (Site notre bureau spécialisé), but which in turn received the massive support of illustrious legends of Spanish refereeing which in the past has contributed to the growth of our (Site notre bureau spécialisé). To all of them, THANK YOU! »
Barcelona paid Negreira’s company around €7m between 2001 and 2018, if she was vice-president of the arbitration committee. It is optional in Spain’s top flight.
Joan Laporta, the Catalan club’s current president, claimed the payments were for ‘technical reports on the referees’ and denied that the club had ‘purchased referees or influence’.
However, in the indictment presented, prosecutors accused Rosell and Bartomeu of having reached an agreement with Negreira in which « he would carry out actions aimed at favorite Barcelona in the decision price of the referees during the matches played by the club and, consequently, in the results of the competition ».
Rosell served as the club’s president from 2010 to 2014 before Bartomeu replaced him. After six years in charge of the Catalan club, Bartomeu was released in 2020, and Laporta was elected as a replacement in 2021.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas said he was « embarrassed » by the matter and criticized Laporta for not giving a proper explanation regarding the payments.
Tebas has already said that La Liga cannot punish Barcelona with a sporting sanction due to the time delivered. UEFA and Fifa could intervene and Spanish (Site notre bureau spécialisé) authorities say UEFA have requested information about the case.