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Negreira case: Spanish Prosecutor’s Office denounces FC Barcelona for paying to be favored by referees for more than 15 years

The Prosecutor’s Office has denounced FC Barcelona, ​​its former presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell for the alleged millionaire payments to the former arbitration leader José María Enríquez Negreira to “favour” the Barça club in the “decision making of the referees” in the matches they played.

The Prosecutor’s Office, which proposes that the current president of Barça, Joan Laporta, is summoned as a witness, has filed his complaint before the investigating court number 1 of Barcelona -so that it accumulates it in the previous proceedings initiated as a result of a complaint filed by the VAR referee Estrada Fernández against Negreira-, for the crimes of corruption between individuals, unfair administration and documentary falsification.

The complaint is the result of investigations that the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office has been open for nearly a year for alleged payments to Negreirawhich through two companies has received almost seven million euros from Barça for allegedly verbal advice to the club.

In addition to Rosell -who was president of FC Barcelona between 2010 and 2014- and Bartomeu -between 2014 and 2020-the complaint is directed against the former executive director of the club Oscar Grau and the former director of professional sports Albert Soler, who were “of the highest confidence” of Bartomeu, according to the public ministry.

The Prosecutor’s Office maintains that, through the presidents Rosell and Bartomeu, the Barça club “reached and maintained” a “strictly confidential verbal agreement” with the then vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) José María Enríquez Negreira so that, “at change money”, carry out “actions tending to favor FC Barcelona in the decision-making of the referees.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the payments made by FC Barcelona to Negreira between 2001 and 2018, during his vice-presidency at the CTA, they exceeded 7.3 million euros, which represented a “real remuneration” not provided for in the club’s statutes or approved by the general assembly, so that these perceptions did not have “legal or statutory support some”.

Specifically, the public ministry details that between 2011 and 2014 -in the Rosell stage-, Negreira received more than two million euros from FC Barcelona through its merchants, while between 2014 and 2015 he received 1.2 million euros and between 2016 and 2018 another 1.6 million.

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