In their ongoing investigation into claims that payments were made to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the refereeing committee, FC Barcelona has received a significant boost. According to the allegations, Barcelona paid Negreira €7 million in order to get more refereeing knowledge and sway match outcomes in their favor.
EFE Deportes claims that the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office has not discovered any proof of result manipulation or any influence over La Liga games as a result of the alleged payments made by Barcelona. For the club, which has been dogged by suspicion since the commencement of the probe, this outcome should be a comfort.
Barcelona has remained silent on the subject and relied on both internal and external inquiries. The club will soon present evidence and be prepared to “attack” as well as defend, according to Joan Laporta, the club’s president.
Former La Liga official Juan Roca had previously defended Barcelona. According to Roca, Negreira did not approach him to sway any decisions in the Catalan club’s favor. Documents that were leaked further backed Barcelona and demonstrated the destination of the funds.
Although the claims have hurt Barcelona’s reputation, the club is likely to come out of this crisis unscathed due to the paucity of supporting documentation. The lack of evidence of match-fixing or improper influence on match outcomes will be welcomed by the Blaugrana.
Sandro Rosell, the former president of Barcelona, and Josep Maria Bartomeu, his replacement, were both detained in connection with the investigation due to alleged payments made to Negreira. Even though the issue may have been past its expiration date in terms of sports, the claimed behavior will still be evaluated.
The most recent development is a step in the right direction for Barcelona as it fights to clear its name and put this crisis behind it. There is no evidence of match-fixing or improper influence on match results, therefore Barcelona can rest easy knowing how the probe will turn out.
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By Kanak Chauhan