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FC Barcelona once more lashes out in corruption case: ‘This lynching is unacceptable’ | Overseas soccer

FC Barcelona admits that it made funds to a former referee for years, however denies that the cash was supposed to affect the arbitration and outcomes of matches. “We’re victims of a smear marketing campaign,” stated president Joan Laporta at a press convention immediately.

Barça president Laporta waited two months to touch upon the intense allegations of attainable corruption as he awaited the outcomes of an inner investigation, he stated. And that investigation is obvious, in response to him: ,,There have been no behaviors inside the membership that may be punishable as an offense of sporting corruption, neither is there proof of influencing the competitors.

Justice has opened an investigation into the funds made by the membership to former referee José Maria Enriquez Negreira, who obtained €7 million from Barcelona between 2001 and 2018, throughout his time as Vice-President of the Technical Committee of Referees of the Spanish Soccer Federation .

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• Barça additionally below magnifying glass at UEFA: investigation into attainable bribery

“These had been reputable funds for technical {and professional} recommendation from folks within the arbitration world, however that’s not prohibited, and definitely not punishable,” stated Laporta. ,,We’ve invoices for that, plus a minimum of 629 stories and 42 CDs that we obtained from Negreira and had been in a position to find. It’s seventeen years of labor, and the quantity paid isn’t distinctive for that.”

The president of Barça, which appears to be on its method to the Spanish championship this season, stated that the membership is the sufferer of a smear marketing campaign with the intention of unsettling and taking up the membership. With this he referred to the likelihood that FC Barcelona may very well be obliged to change into a public restricted firm as a result of many (monetary) issues.

“We’ve been publicly lynched, together with by the media,” Laporta stated. “And we do not deserve that. Not solely our credibility, however that of all soccer is at stake. Let’s look ahead to justice. We have been discovered responsible earlier than the choose has handed. After its investigation, the tax authorities haven’t been in a position to show that Mr. Negreira’s funds to firms have influenced the arbitration or the outcomes of matches. That can not be confirmed, as a result of it by no means occurred.”

At a gathering with a Barcelona supporters membership in Getafe, the place the group drew 0-0 on Sunday, Laporta already gave an concept of ​​what his protection could be final weekend. ,,They’ve made the case a lot greater than it’s as a result of there may be an ex-referee concerned. However that man (Negreira, ed.) had no method to affect the outcomes of matches, as a result of he was not liable for appointing the referees.”

He additionally stated he finds it unusual that rival Actual Madrid has supported the accusation of the judiciary, in response to him “a membership that traditionally has lots of benefit in relation to arbitration”. At his press convention, he repeated the criticism of Actual and the Liga, the organizer of the Primera División, which has additionally supported the accusation.

The query is whether or not Laporta’s clarification is enough to keep away from a attainable penalty from UEFA. The European Union has already requested for info and may take motion, for instance by excluding Barcelona from the Champions League subsequent season, even and not using a court docket conviction.

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