Barcelona are leading the top Spanish league by a solid margin, but they are still not certain to be in the Champions League next season. The reason for this is the “Negreira” case and the accusations of corruption against the Catalan club. However, according to the latest information, Barcelona should not miss the most prestigious club competition.
Barcelona is facing serious allegations of corruption. Between 2011 and 2018, the Catalan giant sent over €7 million to former vice-president of the referees’ commission José Mário Enriquez Negreiro.
Although the Catalan outfit immediately began to defend the accusations, it just couldn’t satisfactorily explain and prove that the money was not used to bribe referees. Barcelona explains the money sent by saying that Negreiro was paid for the reports of individual referees.
The whole situation has caused quite a stir not only in Spanish football. Barcelona is fighting the accusations as hard as it can. There are even media outlets that claim La Liga boss Javier Tebas even sent false evidence.
However, the case is still being investigated and has not yet reached a successful conclusion. Barcelona, however, were until relatively recently threatened that even if they won the league, they would miss out on the Champions League next season. In fact, UEFA was very concerned about the situation.
Now, however, the situation is turning around and, according to the editor-in-chief of Mundo Deportivo, Santi Nolla, Barcelona will not be absent from the millionaire competition next season. It will receive a licence to participate in the competition.
Why? UEFA is said to be conducting an investigation, but has no information that would prevent Barcelona from participating. It has not been proven that Barcelona has been bribing.
It is worth noting that UEFA has so far reached the same result as the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). In order for the criminal process to proceed, it must be proven that bribery, or at least the intention to bribe, took place. The mere probability or possibility that this may have been the case is not enough.
Moreover, Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta did his best to ensure that his club was not hastily punished without clear evidence. He sent letters to the presidents of UEFA and FIFA, and even visited Aleksander Čeferin personally in Ljubljana.
Source: Mundo Deportivo, AS Diario
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