March 31, 2023
The case of corruption of the referee is the worst moment of Spanish football

The case of corruption of the referee is the worst moment of Spanish football

Spanish soccer is going through the worst moment in its history due to the arbitration corruption case involving Barcelona, ​​LaLiga president Javier Tebas said on Monday.

Spanish prosecutors last week accused the Catalan club of corruption after payments of more than 7.3 million euros ($7.8 million) were discovered to a company owned by a former referee chief earlier this year. .

Barcelona says it paid José María Enríquez Negreira, a former referee and former vice president of the arbitration committee of the Spanish Football Federation (CTA) between 1994 and 2018, for reports and advice related to arbitration.

“Yes, (it is the worst moment) that I remember,” Tebas told the Vamos de Movistar channel.

“The problem we have is the worst. There are payments recognized by Barcelona to the vice president of the CTA, that is something abnormal.

“It is understandable that tension is generated. The reputation of our football is at stake. I am ashamed. We have no explanation from Barcelona”.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta spoke at an event on Monday, saying he would defend his team from “attacks”.

Laporta was emotional during his speech and said that it was not weakness, but that he showed his desire to confront his club’s detractors.

“Don’t think that I get emotional out of weakness, I get emotional because I really want to face all the scoundrels that are tarnishing our shield,” Laporta said.

There are ferocious attacks to sully the shield of our club, which have nothing to do with reality.

“And you can be sure that the board of directors that I have the honor of chairing will defend you with all our might.”

Spanish newspaper El País reported on Monday that former Barcelona coaches Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde would be called as witnesses in the legal proceedings.

Spanish champions Real Madrid said on Sunday it would appear as an “injured party” in the case once it progresses.

In addition to the club and Enríquez Negreira, two of the club’s former presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, face the same corruption charge.

At the sporting level, Barcelona is not in immediate danger because the governing bodies of Spanish, European and world football have a limitation period of five years, Tebas said.

At the criminal level, the accused could face up to four years in prison.

The sanctions against the club could range from “the suspension of the activity… to the total dissolution as a company,” Alberto Palomar, a law professor at the Carlos III University of Madrid, told AFP.


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