Barcelona charged with suspected bribery over £6m payments to ex-referees chief
The Metro says Barcelona have been charged with suspected bribery for payments worth over €7 million (£6m) made to companies linked with Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the refereeing committee in Spain.
Spanish police raided the offices of Spain’s football federation (RFEF) near Madrid on Thursday as part of the investigation into the payments made by Barcelona to firms owned by Negreira, who was vice-president of the RFEF’s refereeing committee from 1993 to 2018. Negreira was also a referee in Spain’s professional leagues before joining the RFEF.
Barcelona deny wrongdoing and the club claim that the payments were for an external consultant to supply ‘technical reports related to professional refereeing’ and described it as ‘a common practice among professional football clubs’.
Police said on Thursday that no arrests had been made and that they were acting on the orders of judge Joaquin Aguirre, who is investigating the case for a Barcelona court. The payments were initially investigated as part of a tax probe into a company run by Negreira.