Barcelona is under a lot of public pressure. Because of the case of possible bribery of referees in Spain, Joan Laporta has promised to give an explanation. But at the press conference he leaned on Real Madrid.
Did Barcelona bribe referees or not? Why did the club send payments to the vice-president of the referees’ commission, Enriquez Negreiro, for 17 years straight? Barcelona president Joan Laporta was expected to reveal all this at a press conference.
But he did not bring much light into the whole mysterious situation. He admitted that Negreiro’s payments were going out, but insisted that they were for reports on referees.
But otherwise, he denied all the allegations and said that Barcelona was just a victim in the whole affair. He said it could not be proven that Negreira’s payments were linked to influencing referees and therefore they were not.
“The Negreiro case is not a case of sporting corruption. Services were provided to the club and documented. There were invoices and payments were recorded in the club’s accounts. They passed the relevant tax audits,” Laporta defends the club.
At the same time, however, he leaned heavily on Real Madrid. Meanwhile, he and Los Blancos president Florentino Pérez had a very warm relationship as they are fighting for the same cause – the Superliga and the rights of the CVC. Therefore, Real Madrid refrained from commenting for a long time and was the only La Liga club not to publicly condemn its rival.
But finally, Pérez decided to issue a statement demanding a thorough investigation into the situation, adding that if Barcelona bribed the referee, he feels aggrieved. And this reportedly made Laporta extremely angry and he took it as a betrayal. That’s why he also turned the conversation to Real Madrid at the press conference.
“I want to point out the presence of a club that says it feels aggrieved. A club that has always been favoured by the decisions of the referees. It was considered a team of the regime. Because of its proximity to political and economic power. I think it’s worth remembering that for seven decades most of the CTA presidents were former partners, former players or former managers of Real Madrid,” Laporta says harshly.
“For 70 years, the people who appointed those who were supposed to dispense justice on the pitch were former partners, former players or former Real Madrid managers. In some cases, all at once… For this club to come forward and say it feels wronged by the best sporting period in FCB’s history….. This process will serve to expose them. It is an unprecedented exercise in cynicism,” the Barcelona boss added.
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