Barcelona president Joan Laporta reaffirms claims Catalan club are INNOCENT of accusations in Negreira scandal

April 17, 2023

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has once against insisted that his club are innocent of the accusations levelled against them by La Liga in the ongoing referee payment scandal.

Spain’s public prosecutor has accused the Catalan club of maintaining a relationship with former La Liga referee chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, which saw him allegedly carry out actions that would ‘led to Barcelona being favoured in the decision-making of the referees’ in exchange for money.

The report claims that the club paid €7.3million (£6.46m) to DASNIL and NILSAT, two companies owned by Negreira.

These allegations have led to investigations of Barcelona by both UEFA and Spanish authorities. 

However, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has insisted they are innocent of the allegations but received referee scouting reports from Negreira rather than favours.

“They have nothing because there is nothing,” he said. 

“What they have done is magnify a situation in which one of the people who was linked to these companies was a former referee and a former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees.

“He had no capacity to alter the results of any match because he did not designate the referees.”

Should they be found guilty, Barca will face huge financial penalties. In addition, Negreira, former Barcelona presidents Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, and former directors Albert Soler and Oscar Grau could face up to four years in jail.

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