Barcelona and the case of possible corruption drags on. While it’s still the number one issue in Spain, it’s already making its way to Europe and UEFA chief Aleksander Čeferin has spoken out quite strongly.
In Spain, a possible referee bribery scandal is being investigated, as Barcelona had the vice-president of the referees’ commission, Enriquez Negreira, on their payroll from 2001-2018.
Neither side denies the payments, which were said to total more than €7 million. The problem, however, lies in the explanation.
Barcelona claim that they paid for reports on referees, how they behave and so on. The problem, however, is that Ernesto Valverde, one of the Blaugranas coaches at the time, said he did not know about any reports.
Barcelona are thus unable to explain why so much money was going to the private firm of the vice-president of the referees’ commission.
Investigations are already underway at all levels in Spain and UEFA has now officially joined in. After gathering all the information from the Spanish Football Association, the latter has decided to go ahead and launch an investigation.
The UEFA president also commented on the situation in the Slovenian daily Ekipa. “This is one of the most serious situations I have seen in football,” said Aleksander Čeferin.
“I cannot comment directly for two reasons. Firstly, because we have an independent disciplinary committee. And secondly, because I have not looked into the matter in detail. But I can say one thing: I have been informed that the situation is extremely serious,” says the Slovenian head of the European organisation.
“It is so serious that it is, in my opinion, one of the most serious football situations I have ever seen. At the level of the Spanish league, of course, the case is time-barred and cannot have any competitive consequences, but the proceedings are being conducted at the level of the Spanish civil prosecutor’s office. As far as UEFA is concerned, however, nothing is time-barred,” Čeferin scared Barcelona fans.
In the worst case scenario, Barcelona could face being knocked out of the European Cups for several years, and that would be a huge problem with the current financial problems.
Source: Ekipa, MARCA
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