Negreira Case: More woes for Barca as UEFA opens Investigation
European football’s governing body, UEFA, has launched an investigation into the Negreira referee payments scandal involving Barcelona, which has resulted in official charges of corruption against the LaLiga giants. The allegations relate to payments totalling €7.3 million that were made to a former vice-president of the Referee’s Committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, between 2001 and 2018.
In a statement, UEFA confirmed that Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have been appointed to investigate the potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by Barcelona in connection with the so-called ‘Caso Negreira’. The governing body’s investigation is in accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations. Further information regarding the matter will be made available in due course.
Barcelona, however, has denied any wrongdoing, stating that they have not acted illegally nor received any favours from referees as a result of the payments made to Negreira. The club’s president, Joan Laporta, has vowed to take strong action against anyone who tries to tarnish the club’s history and image.
Meanwhile, Barcelona has reportedly started to file lawsuits against journalists who they believe have attempted to damage the club’s image in their coverage of the Negreira case. According to reports, the club has already filed five lawsuits, with more expected to be presented soon.
Barcelona is also setting up an e-mail address for members to send any information they deem worthy of being sued. The club is taking a proactive approach to protect their reputation, as they face mounting legal challenges over the alleged corruption scandal. The investigation by UEFA will add further pressure on the club, which is already grappling with financial difficulties and on-field challenges.