UEFA announced this Thursday the opening of an investigation in relation to a "possible violation of the legal framework" of the instance by FC Barcelona in the arbitration scandal in which the Catalan club is involved.
A court in Barcelona is investigating the Catalan club and some of its leaders for "corruption between individuals in the sports field", "unfair administration" and "falsification of a commercial document" in the case of suspicious payments to José María Enríquez Negreira, who was a senior manager of Spanish arbitration, also denounced.
The Spanish justice system admitted for processing the complaints from the Barcelona prosecutor's office for the so-called 'Negreira case', in which alleged payments from Barcelona to companies belonging to a former arbitration officer are being investigated.
The number 1 investigative court in Barcelona will investigate the complaints filed against Barcelona and former club leaders, including former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, according to a court order made public this Wednesday.
The complaint is also directed against José María Enríquez Negreira, former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) and his company Dasnil 95, which would have collected millions in payments for alleged arbitration reports.
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This is the next step in the investigation of the case after the Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor's Office filed a complaint for crimes of "corruption between individuals in the field of sports", "unfair administration" and "falsification of a commercial document".
The judge has united the complaints presented by the public ministry and the arbitrator Xavier Estrada Fernández for this case against Negreira.
According to the prosecution's complaint, Negreira, who was vice president of the CTA between 1994 and 2018, received from Barcelona through his companies more than 7,3 million euros (7,7 million dollars) between 2001 and 2018.
Barça ceased its payments in 2018, according to the prosecution, due to the departure of Negreira from the CTA when the organization was remodeled with the arrival of Luis Rubiales to the presidency of the Spanish Federation (RFEF).
For the Public Ministry, Barça, through Rosell and Bartomeu, "reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement" with Negreira "so that, in his capacity as vice president of the CTA and in exchange for money, he would carry out actions tending to favor the FCB in the decision-making of the referees in the matches played by the club, and thus in the results of the competitions”.
The complaint supports this statement that the Negreira companies "issued invoices that were submitted to the FCB for collection without them responding to any real provision or technical advisory services."
The judge, who has also allowed LaLiga to appear as a private prosecution, has commissioned the investigation to the civil guard and once she receives the results of it, she will set the dates to take statements from those investigated.