Xavi: We've been joking about the referee scandal at Barcelona

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Xavi Hernandez
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Barcelona manager Xavi claimed his players aren't worried about the team's refereeing scandal, and that they are focused on the season.
  • Barca paid company owned by former VP of referees
  • Club claimed it was for scouting reports
  • Xavi laughed off scandal

WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona's sporting integrity has been called into the question after the club sent 33 separate payments to a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreir, then the vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees in Spain, between 2016 and 2018.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Today we have focused everything with Cadiz. Isolation from Cadiz (laughs). It is treated in the best possible way, even with some little jokes," Xavi said in a press conference. "We focus on our work. We have not dealt with it in a group, nor has it been discussed."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barca cannot be officially investigated by La Liga, as the football federation is unable to look into cases more than three years old. However, league President Javier Tebas didn't rule out a criminal probe. Tebas also suggested that Barca's titles could be tainted if they are found guilty of wrongdoing.

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Xavi 2022-23 Javier Tebas Ernesto Valverde

WHAT NEXT FOR BARCA? An official investigation looks unlikely for the Blaugrana, but their reputation appears to have taken a hit. Xavi will hope the noise doesn't affect them when they line up against Cadiz on Saturday.