MX23RW : Tuesday, June 18 06:28:29| >> :120:14873:14873:

Barcelona cleared of bribery charges over referee payment allegations

Barcelona cleared of bribery charges over referee payment allegations
© Reuters
A Spanish court dismiss bribery charges against Barcelona, ending an investigation into a refereeing corruption scandal involving club president Joan Laporta.

A Spanish court has dismissed bribery charges against Barcelona, ending an investigation into a refereeing corruption scandal involving club president Joan Laporta.

The charges stemmed from allegations the club had paid a former refereeing chief over £6m between 1994 and 2018.

The investigation focused on alleged payments to DASNIL 95, a company owned by former match official Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira during Josep Bartomeu's presidency.

Negreira, who later became a vice president of the Referees' Technical Committee, allegedly received substantial sums annually from Barcelona.

Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira testifies in alleged FC Barcelona bribery case on May 23, 2024© Reuters

Barcelona bribery charges dismissed in referee corruption investigation

However, the court has now ruled that Negreira's non-public official status, in addition to the lack of evidence, prevented bribery charges against the Catalans.

Undoubtedly, the ruling brings major relief to Barca, who would otherwise have faced significant UEFA sanctions, including being excluded from the Champions League, which would have had a huge impact on the side's financial situation.

Throughout the investigation, Blaugrana maintained that the payments to Negreira were for technical and scouting reports, backed by documentation presented by the club president, Laporta.

Following the dismissal decision, Barcelona issued a statement expressing their contentment with the outcome.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta during the press conference on February 1, 2022© Reuters

Barca issue statement following court decision

"FCB is satisfied with today's ruling by the Barcelona High Court insofar as it confirms the approach defended by the club and rules out the hypothesis of the alleged crime of bribery.

"We maintain our conviction that through Justice the facts that are the subject of the complaint can be definitively clarified and the absolute innocence of the club can be proven."

Despite the ruling, though, Barca are not completely in the clear just yet as they are still under investigation for matters relating to sporting corruption and 'dishonest administration.'

Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-final by Paris Saint-Germain and are set to finish the 2023-24 La Liga season in second place behind arch-rivals Real Madrid.

The Catalans will hope to end the season on a high note when they face Sevilla at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in their final league match on Sunday night.

ID:544518:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4011:

Click here for more stories about Joan Laporta

Click here for more stories about Barcelona

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Barcelona president Joan Laporta pictured on August 5, 2022
Read Next:
Joan Laporta denies Barcelona 'buying referees'
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.
rhs 2.0
Euro 2024 fixtures header
Tuesday, June 18
Wednesday, June 19
Thursday, June 20
Group Stage
Friday, June 21
Saturday, June 22
Sunday, June 23
Monday, June 24
Tuesday, June 25
Wednesday, June 26
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1
Tuesday, July 2
Friday, July 5
Saturday, July 6
Tuesday, July 9
Wednesday, July 10
Sunday, July 14
Tables header RHS

Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 England flag England11003
2 Denmark Denmark10101
3 Slovenia Slovenia10101
4 Serbia Serbia10010

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 France France11003
3 Poland Poland10010
4 Austria Austria10010

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
2 Slovakia Slovakia11003
3 Belgium Belgium10010
4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!