The football fraternity has been rocked by the news of Barcelona’s alleged involvement in possible cases of corruption. The situation has gotten worse for the Catalan giants after charges were filed against the Spanish outfit by the prosecutors.
The charges were slapped after the revelation that Barcelona made an alleged payment made to the former vice president of the refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.
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La Liga president Javier Tebas has now disclosed his personal opinion on this highly controversial matter. Tebas had always maintained that Barcelona president Joan Laporta must issue a statement regarding the allegations levelled against his team. Tebas has now opined that he does not believe Barcelona had paid match officials.
“I do not think Barcelona paid for referees, but this is a situation that requires a clear answer,” Javier Tebas was quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.
It is being claimed that Barcelona had paid Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira ‘s company around €7 million between 2001 and 2018. The payment was made during Negreira’s tenure as the vice president of the refereeing committee. Prosecutors have accused former Barcelona presidents- Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu of having an understanding with Negreira.
Sandro Rosell was Barcelona’s president between 2010 and 2014. Josep Bartomeu had later replaced Rosell as the Barca president. Bartomeu was in charge of the club for six years and eventually resigned in 2020. Joan Laporta was elected as the Catalan giants’ president two years back. It is now being reported that Laporta may be summoned as a witness in the Negreira case.
There is no official word on the possible punishment or the order of retribution. But it is being understood that if proven guilty, Barcelona could very well be banned from taking part in European competitions.
Coming back to on-field developments, Barcelona currently enjoy a fine run in La Liga. With just two defeats in the season so far, the Blaugranas are on top of the points table. Xavi’s men are currently ahead of second-placed Real Madrid by nine points.
In their next assignment, the Catalan giants will host arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish league on Monday, March 20. Earlier, the Camp Nou-based outfit crashed out of the Europa League after enduring a defeat at the hands of Manchester United.
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