UEFA could be ruthless against FC Barcelona over Negreira case

NYON, Switzerland, 5 April. – President of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Alexander Ceferin confirmed that the arbitration scandal against FC Barcelona is one of the most serious incidents in the history of world football.

UEFA launched a formal investigation into Barcelona last month for possible violations of the legal framework of European football’s governing body in respect of payments made by the club to a company owned by a high-ranking arbitration official.

I cannot comment directly on this for two reasons,” Čeferin said. First, because we have an independent disciplinary committee. And secondly, because I did not deal with this issue in detail. However, I can say something. As far as I know, the situation is extremely serious, he stressed.

Prosecutors accuse FC Barcelona and two former presidents of the Catalan club of ongoing corruption related to alleged improper payments to referees, Slovenian newspapers Ekipe SN and CNN commented on Wednesday.

Between 2001 and 2018, Barcelona paid 7.3 million euros or $7.96 million to firms owned by José María Enríquez Negreira, then vice president of the refereeing committee of the Spanish Football Federation.

At the level of the Spanish league, the case is overdue and cannot have competitive consequences, but the proceedings are ongoing at the level of the Spanish civil prosecutor’s office, Čeferin added. The same applies to UEFA, he did not prescribe anything here either, he said.

Čeferin announced that the body is analyzing the situation and does not exclude the imposition of tough sanctions against the club as a result of the so-called Negreira case of possible corruption.

According to independent analysts, the Catalan side could be banned from European competition over the next few seasons, a move that will also be historic as Javi Hernandez’s side lead La Liga and are on their way to winning the title.

It has been leaked that former vice-president of the judging panel, José María Enríquez Negreira, received 7.3 million euros between 2001 and 2018 for “advising” the blue garnet team. Čeferin doesn’t want the process to drag on, as he knows Barcelona will turn to the UEFA Court of Appeal seeking to ease a possible sanction or find a safeguard that would allow them to play in the 23-24 season.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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