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Criminal complaint filed against Barcelona, 2 former presidents

Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal complaint against the Spanish football powerhouse, along with two former presidents and their executives, for paying a company owned by a former CTA vice president to obtain information about referees. 

The club reportedly made the payments between 2016 and 2018 to a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, who was then-vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

It is claimed that Barcelona received information about the referees in exchange for €7.3 million ($7.8 million) between 2001-2018.

Barcelona published a statement in February that denied any wrongdoing after the claims emerged.

Barca said they were aware of the investigation and had hired the services of an external consultant which supplied them with “technical reports related to professional refereeing” to complement information requested by the first and second team coaching staff.

The club said it is known to be a common practice among professional football clubs.

The crimes in question include imprisonment from six months to 4 years, prohibition from private commercial activities from one to 6 years, and fines, according to the Spanish Penal Code.

*Writing by Selcuk Bugra Gokalp

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