FC Barcelona has been cleared of sporting sanctions over allegations of payments made to former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. The news comes after La Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed that the statute of limitations for sporting sanctions has expired.
However, the club is still facing an ongoing investigation by the Barcelona justice system for possible cases of corruption, and must work hard to save its public image and reputation. The allegations against the club include claims that payments of €1.4 million ($1.5 million) were made to Negreira for advice on how players should behave towards referees, and for tips on what they can or cannot do depending on the referee officiating a certain match.
On Monday, Tebas suggested that Barcelona President Joan Laporta resign if he cannot explain why the payments were made, citing what he described as the club’s initial “superficial statement.” He also criticized the club’s use of ex-referees, particularly those on the Technical Committee for Referees (CTA), and suggested that the issue spanned several seasons and different leaderships.
Laporta hit back on Tuesday, accusing Tebas of being a Real Madrid supporter and engaging in a destabilization campaign against Barcelona. He emphasized the club’s commitment to transparency and fair play, and denied any wrongdoing.
Despite not facing sporting sanctions, Barcelona must still take steps to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and ethical behavior. The club can start by implementing measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, such as introducing a clear code of conduct for all officials and employees, and ensuring that all financial transactions are transparent and fully documented.
The ongoing investigation and negative media coverage of the scandal will make it a challenge for the club to restore its image, but Barcelona must work hard to rebuild its reputation and show the footballing world that it is still a club of integrity and honor. By demonstrating a strong commitment to transparency, integrity, and ethical behavior, Barcelona can work towards restoring the trust and confidence of its fans and the wider footballing community.
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By Kanak Chauhan