Barca scandal is ‘serious’ but Ceferin makes no comment on detail

April 6 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin believes the refereeing scandal facing Barcelona is a massively serious issue for the Spanish giants.

Ceferin declined to answer questions on the subject at Wednesday’s post-Congress press conference but two days earlier let the cat out of the bag by making his views known in an interview with Slovenian newspaper Ekipa.

UEFA announced last month it had opened its own investigation into payments Barca made to the former vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee between 2001 and 2018.

Barca said they paid Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira for “technical reports on refereeing” and deny ever influencing officials.

“The situation is extremely serious,” Ceferin told Ekipa. “It is so serious that, in my opinion, it is one of the most serious [situations] in football that I have ever seen.”

Prosecutors are pursuing charges against Barca for alleged corruption with La Liga president Javier Tebas describing the scandal as “the worst reputational crisis” he can remember in Spanish football.

“I cannot comment directly on this for two reasons,” Ceferin added to the paper. “Firstly, because we have an independent disciplinary committee in charge of this. And secondly, because I have not dealt with this matter in detail.”

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