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Barcelona Executives Accused of Paying Spanish Referees Committee VP for Two Decades

Spanish newspaper El Mundo recently published a report alleging that Barcelona executives paid a senior officiating head in Spain, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, for nearly two decades. The payments, which totaled €7.3 million (£6.46 million) and were made through two firms Negreira owned, DASNIL and NILSAT, were allegedly made in exchange for measures that would “lead to Barcelona being favored in the decision-making of the referees.”

Former club executives who spoke with El Mundo said that Barcelona was paying Negreira as an act of “self-defense,” in response to perceived animosity towards the club. They claim that Negreira’s role was to ensure “impartial” officiating, and that Barcelona kept him on in order to prevent him from disclosing the payments and exacting revenge on the organization.

The allegations against Barcelona have been referred to the Public Prosecutor in Spain, who will be interviewing former Barcelona coaches Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde, as well as president Joan Laporta. Laporta recently addressed a group of Barcelona players from all sports and youth categories, telling them that he was emotional because he was desperate to “take on the shameless individuals staining the club’s badge.”

This is not the first time that Barcelona has been accused of corruption. In 2020, the club was fined €6 million by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after being found guilty of tapping up Antoine Griezmann while he was still under contract with Atletico Madrid. The club was also banned from signing players for two transfer windows, although the ban was later lifted on appeal.

The latest allegations against Barcelona are likely to further damage the club’s reputation, which has been under scrutiny in recent years due to a number of high-profile controversies. However, it remains to be seen whether the club will face any further sanctions, or whether the allegations against Negreira will be proven in court.

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Barcelona DASNIL El Mundo Luis Enrique Negreira


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