Spanish league – FC Barcelona accused by the prosecutor’s office of corruption and attempted fraud
Spain’s general prosecutor’s office on Friday charged FC Barcelona and four of its former officials with corruption and attempted fraud in connection with the alleged payment by the Catalan club of the former deputy chairman of the Spanish league’s board of referees, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.
According to the prosecutor’s office, FC Barcelona and former members of its management had committed not only “persistent corrupt practices”, but also attempted fraud. It stated that the presumption of sports fraud and the falsification of a commercial document.
The prosecutor’s office recognized both the FC Barcelona club as a legal entity and its former presidents: Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu. Also in the dock are Oscar Grau and Albert Soler, former members of the management of the Catalan club.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the management of FC Barcelona, through Negreira, was to try to influence Spanish football referees to make decisions favorable to this club.
The daily “El Mundo” claims that although the practice of corrupting the former deputy head of the college of football referees in Spain was supposed to take place in 2016-2018, the prosecutor’s office will also investigate other periods in the history of FC Barcelona.
On Wednesday, the newspaper wrote that Negreira, after leaving the referees’ college, was to propose favorable solutions to the authorities of FC Barcelona “in terms of decisions made within VAR”, i.e. video verification of doubtful match situations for referees.
The investigation into alleged corruption was launched after El Mundo reported on February 16 that FC Barcelona was paying the deputy chief of referees. The money was to go to Negreira’s Dasnil 95 company from January 2016 to June 2018 in exchange for “technical preparation of videos for the club and video advice.”
The daily published 33 invoices, on the basis of which the club was to pay the sum of 1.4 million euros to Negreira in 2016-2018.
In exchange for money, according to the investigation, the former Spanish referee was supposed to favor FC Barcelona during the decisions of the referee’s college relating to the matches of the “Catalonia Pride” and to influence the referees to make decisions favorable to the club.
Marcin Zatyka (PAP)