Barcelona could face a potential football ban amid bribery and corruption allegations. On Thursday, the Spanish police executed a search at the RFEF premises as part of the ongoing inquiry directed by Judge Joaquin Aguirre. This investigation is targeted at Enriquez Negreira and Barcelona Club on charges of alleged corruption
The case centres on allegations of favouritism toward Barcelona, with the club potentially facing expulsion from football.
This development follows earlier charges in March of this year, in which Barcelona was accused of continuous corruption related to attempts to influence match outcomes. A source has now confirmed that the club has allegedly been making bribery payments to Maria Enriquez Negreira for a staggering 18 years.
The Spanish district court has issued a statement regarding the ongoing prosecution of the club and the individuals implicated in this case.”
The statement reads,
“Regarding the legal entity of FC Barcelona and the club directors under investigation, a continuing crime of active bribery is attributed to them.”
“FC Barcelona paid through intermediary companies to one of the three vice-presidents of the Technical Committee of Referees integrated into the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Fact not denied and documented. EN [Enriquez Negreira] had the status of public official for criminal purposes given that he carried out public functions as vice-president of the CTA, those related to the qualifications of referees and the promotion and demotion of referees among others.
“The payment by FC Barcelona to EN or his son ER can be considered made based on the position held by the former, since the payments continued for approximately 18 years, increasing from the initial €70,000 to €700,000 annually; FC Barcelona ceased payment as soon as EN ceased as vice-president of the CTA.
“By logical deduction, the payments made by FC Barcelona satisfied the interests of the club based on their duration and the annual increase. From this it is also deduced that the payments produced the arbitration effects desired by FC Barcelona, in such a way that there must have been inequality in the treatment with other teams and the consequent systemic corruption in the Spanish arbitration as a whole.
“After being dismissed as vice-president of the CTA in mid-2018, FC Barcelona decided to dispense with the services of EN. Given this, the latter sent an intimidating letter to the former president of FC Barcelona B indicating, in essence, that if they did not continue paying, he would reveal a series of facts that could seriously harm the club.
“From the latter it can be deduced that EN was aware that quite serious illicit acts had occurred in favour of FC Barcelona. This direct knowledge by EN implied either his participation in the commission of said acts in favour of FC Barcelona, or a very close knowledge of the people who would have committed them. In short, EN was aware, to a greater or lesser extent, of the illegality of its actions and even of other acts unknown until now”.