UEFA opens own probe into Barca payments to top referee in ‘Caso Negreira’ case

uefa flag

March 23 – UEFA has announced it has opened its own investigation into the millions of dollars of payments made by Barcelona to the former vice president of Spain’s referees’ committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

Spanish prosecutors have already filed an official complaint against Barcelona and two of its ex-presidents over millions of dollars allegedly paid to a company that belonged Negreira. Prosecutors allege that under a secret agreement and “in exchange for money”,  Negreira favoured Barcelona in influencing results.

Barcelona were charged with paying Negreira and his company Dasnil 95, millions of dollars between 2001 and 2018. The club have vehemently denied the charges against them.

Between 2001 and 2018 Barcelona won the Champions League four times and were LaLiga champions nine times.

In opening their own investigation UEFA have ratcheted up the importance of the case and the seriousness of the allegations, acting within their own articles which allow them to appoint their own Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors, rather than waiting for the public investigators and courts to complete their processes.

In a press release UEFA were brief, saying: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by FC Barcelona in connection with the so-called ‘Caso Negreira’.

UEFA said that “further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”

LaLiga’s CEO, Javier Tebas has already called on current Barcelona president Joan Laporta to resign if the charges are proved.

“I am ashamed we still don’t have a convincing explanation,” Tebas told a recent conference entitled ‘Defending the European Football Ecosystem’.

“I believe that Barça did not pay or buy referees. But the Club must give an explanation of the payments to Negreira.

“Reputational damage to Barça and the League is tremendous. Hiding is not the solution.  The penalties for buying referees will be very serious. Fines in the millions and demotion.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1709086173labto1709086173ofdlr1709086173owedi1709086173sni@n1709086173osloh1709086173cin.l1709086173uap1709086173