Spanish authorities struggle to prove Barcelona's controversial payments influenced La Liga officiating
- Prosecutor found no evidence of ref influence
- Club could still be punished for "illegal services"
- Investigation remains ongoing
WHAT HAPPENED? An investigation into Barcelona's payment scandal found no evidence that the Catalan club's €7.5 million (£6.6m/$8.1m) payments to the former vice-president of Spanish referees influenced on-pitch decisions, according to a report obtained by Spanish publication EFE.
However, the report points out that the lack of explanation and official documentation provided for the millions of euros sent to a business interest of Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira could suggest that the club still paid for illegal services.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona have been engulfed by the so-called Negreira Case for nearly a month now, after it was revealed that the club was sending regular payments to the official for nearly 20 years. They have been officially charged with corruption and maligned by rival fans for their alleged crimes.
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WHAT NEXT? Although the report seems to clear Barcelona of directly influencing their on-field success with payments, the investigation remains ongoing.