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Barcelona Face Corruption Charges Over $6.9m Referee Payments

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On Friday, Spanish authorities accused Barcelona FC of corruption for payments it made to the firm of a former refereeing chief.

The same complaint is being brought against the club’s two previous presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as the former head referee Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

The dispute centers on alleged payments made by Barcelona to Negreira, a former vice-president of the refereeing technical committee, in exchange for his verbal counsel on referee-related issues to the club.

The accusations were made mere days after Joan Laporta, the current manager of Barcelona, stated that his team had never “paid referees.”

According to reports, between 2001 and 2018, the Catalan side allegedly paid Negreira’s company 6.5 million euros ($6.9 million).

Laporta said on Tuesday that “Let it be clear Barca have never bought referees and Barca have never had the intention of buying referees, absolutely never.”

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