The Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the European Football Union (Uefa) will initiate an investigation against the Spanish leaders FC Barcelona. On Thursday afternoon, Uefa announced that it had appointed the relevant committee members to investigate a possible violation by FC Barcelona of the association’s legal system. The reason for this is the millions in payments made by the club to a referee official. The association will announce further information “in due course”.The daily mirror app The latest news, background information and analyzes straight to your smartphone. Plus the digital newspaper. Download here for free.
In the affair, the public prosecutor’s office had already filed a complaint about suspicion of corruption almost two weeks ago. Investigators had come to the conclusion that the amounts paid served to favor Barça in the referee’s decision-making process, a justice spokeswoman said on March 10. Between 2001 and 2018, the club paid more than 7.3 million euros to the former vice-president of the CTA referees committee, José María Enríquez Negreira.
Both club representatives and Enríquez Negreira have admitted the business connections, but rejected the allegation of corruption. Barça’s current president Joan Laporta denounced “a campaign to destabilize the team and control the club”.
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On Wednesday it became known that the club was taking legal action against nine journalists and media for their reporting in the case. It was not initially known which journalists and media were involved.