Barcelona studying move to foreign league amid fears of sanctions over Negreira scandal

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reportedly asked the club to study the possibility of leaving La Liga amid their referee payments scandal.
  • Barcelona could face punishment for referee scandal
  • Exploring feasibility of high profile friendlies, other competitions
  • Club charged with "continued corruption"

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blaugrana are considering the possibility of playing in a different league, in case they face heavy sporting sanctions from either the Spanish government or UEFA, according to Spanish outlet OnzeTV3. At this stage, no decision has been made, but Laporta has requested a detailed report on the options available.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although the Barcelona board are confident that no punishment will be handed down for the so-called Negreira case, they are wary of the possibility of being removed from European competition next season. The club is under investigation for paying a senior refereeing official over €7 million (£6.2m/$7.4m) from 2001-2018.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Barca haven't chosen any specific leagues yet, according to the report. However, there is interest in the Middle East, which is currently flush with cash for football. Paris Saint-Germain played a high-profile friendly against the Riyadh All-Stars in January, seeing Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Co face a side that included Cristiano Ronaldo.


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WHAT NEXT? The Negreira case investigation is ongoing. Although Barcelona were handed a boost when a prosecutor ruled that they could not prove that the club's payments impacted refereeing decisions, they could still be punished for a number of administrative violations.