Barcelona has been accused of ongoing sports corruption related to payments made to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of Spain’s refereeing committee.
This scandal surfaced in 2023, with Barcelona alleged to have paid Negreira for information on how to receive favorable calls from match officials.
Negreira and his company reportedly received approximately €7m from Barcelona between 2001 and 2018 for reports and videos about referees.
Spanish prosecutors have charged Barcelona, along with former club presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, claiming that the payments were made in hopes of receiving favorable refereeing decisions.
The prosecutors stated that Barcelona had a confidential agreement with Negreira, who was tasked with influencing referee decisions in favor of the club.
A statement read: “Through presidents Rosell and Bartomeu, Barcelona reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement with the defendant Negreira, so that, in his capacity as vice-president of the refereeing committee and in exchange for money, he would carry out actions aimed at favouring Barcelona in the decision making of the referees in the matches played by the club, and thus in the results of the competitions.”
However, current Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who served between 2004 and 2010, denied the accusations. While La Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed that Barcelona would not face sporting sanctions due to the three-year threshold, the case could be revisited once the legal proceedings are concluded.