Barcelona President Joan Laporta charged with bribery; being invested for ‘Negreira Case’

Barcelona President  Joan Laporta has been charged with bribery in relation to alleged payments made to former refereeing vice-president Enriquez Negreira. The club is undergoing investigation for ‘active bribery’ made to the former official. Laporta is a new name who has been suspected in the case spanning more than two decades of activities at Spain’s referral committee. 

In March, prosecutors made a complaint about overpayments of more than USD 7.8 million for around 17 years to different firms that were owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. Nigeria was the vice president of the Spanish Football Federation’s refereeing committee from 1993 to 2018. The ongoing investigation might also get extended to 2008 when Laporat held the helm for the first time. 

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Along with Laporta, names like former Barca presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as former directors Oscar Grau and Albert Soler are also under investigation. Judge Joaquin Aguirre said that there were “more than ample indications that Laporta committed the same acts as subsequent presidents.” 

Aguirre added, “It is proven that the payments were made over about 18 years and that they increased year after year. It is proven that Enriquez Negreira stopped receiving emoluments from FC Barcelona once he ceased his position as vice president of the CTA in 2018.

Barcelona released an official statement in February that the club paid an extra consultant who supplied it with “technical reports related to professional refereeing”, and insisted that it was a common practice among professional football clubs. The club also refused being involved in any wrongdoings. 


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