Barcelona are CHARGED with bribery after police raid the Spanish FA’s offices regarding the alleged payments of £6million from the club to the vice-president of Spain’s refereeing committee
- Barcelona are accused of paying a referee boss £6 million over 18 years
- They deny all allegations, but have now been charged with bribery in Spain
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Barcelona have reportedly been charged with bribery after Spanish police raided offices of the Spanish Football Federation on Thursday.
The raid was part of a judicial investigation into the alleged payment of millions of euros over several years by the club to the vice-president of the Spanish referees’ commission.
The Guardia Civil confirmed to The Associated Press that its police had searched the offices of the referees’ commission at the federation’s headquarters near Madrid.
Police said they had made no arrests and were acting on orders from the judge investigating the case.
In March, prosecutors formally accused Barcelona of corruption in the sport, fraudulent management and falsification of business documents.
Barcelona have reportedly been accused of bribery in relation to the club’s alleged payments of millions of euros to the Spanish vice-president’s referees’ committee.
Barcelona denies any wrongdoing or conflict of interest and says it paid for technical reports on referees but never tried to influence their decisions (photo – president Joan Laporta)
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Prosecutors said the club paid Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a former referee who was vice-president of the federation’s referee committee from 1993 to 2018, 7.3 million euros from 2001 to 2018.
The payments were made through companies owned by Negreira.
Spanish outlet El Debat now reports that the club has been formally accused of bribery by the public prosecutor.
Meanwhile, former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, along with Negreira and Javier Enriquez Romero – Negreira’s son – have also reportedly been charged.
Investigating judge Joaquin Aguirre Lopez said earlier in September that Barcelona may have benefited from ‘possible systemic corruption’.
However, Barcelona has denied any wrongdoing or conflict of interest, saying it paid for technical reports on referees but never tried to influence their decisions in matches.
The raids come after the federation was rocked by a sexism scandal after now-former president Luis Rubiales kissed a player without her consent during the Women’s World Cup awards ceremony last month.
Former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu (left) and Sandro Rosell (right) have also reportedly been charged