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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 as we speak.

Barça president Laporta waited two months to touch upon the intense allegations of attainable corruption as he awaited the outcomes of an inside investigation, he stated. And that investigation is obvious, in keeping with him: ,,There have been no behaviors throughout the membership that will 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 acquired €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 isn’t prohibited, and positively not punishable,” stated Laporta. ,,We’ve invoices for that, plus no less than 629 studies and 42 CDs that we acquired from Negreira and had been capable of find. It’s seventeen years of labor, and the quantity paid is just not distinctive for that.”

The president of Barça, which appears to be on its solution to the Spanish championship this season, stated that the membership is the sufferer of a smear marketing campaign with the goal of unsettling and taking on the membership. With this he referred to the likelihood that FC Barcelona could possibly be obliged to turn out to be 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 forward to justice. We have been discovered responsible earlier than the decide has handed. After its investigation, the tax authorities haven’t been capable of show that Mr. Negreira’s funds to corporations have influenced the arbitration or the outcomes of matches. That can’t be confirmed, as a result of it by no means occurred.”

At a gathering with a Barcelona supporters membership in Getafe, the place the workforce drew 0-0 on Sunday, Laporta already gave an thought of ​​what his protection can be final weekend. ,,They’ve made the case a lot larger than it’s as a result of there’s an ex-referee concerned. However that man (Negreira, ed.) had no solution 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 keeping with him “a membership that traditionally has a number of benefit in the case of 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 rationalization is enough to keep away from a attainable penalty from UEFA. The European Union has already requested for data and might take motion, for instance by excluding Barcelona from the Champions League subsequent season, even with out a court docket conviction.

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