Official: Prosecutors WILL go after Barcelona for corruption as shocking referee payments saga threatens to derail season
- Barcelona officially denounced
- Paid Negreira €7 million (£6.2m/$7.4m) for referee reports
- Club fear they might be sanctioned
WHAT HAPPENED? The city of Barcelona has denounced the club as a legal entity, as well as former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep María Bartomeu in an official start to its investigation into the Negreira Case, according to Relevo.
A two-year period from 2016-2018 will be the subject of the investigation. However, it is alleged that the club paid former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, nearly €7 million (£6.2m/$7.4m) from 2001-2018. Barca claim they were only interested in referee scouting reports, although their sporting integrity has also been called into question.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite the club's stance, revelations that Negreira offered to "help with VAR" suggests that there could be more for prosecutors to investigate. If found guilty, Barcelona fear that they could face sporting sanctions, according to Sport.
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WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? This is only the beginning of a long legal process that could end with some sort of fine or sanction for the club — the results of which won't be known anytime soon.