Thu 16 February 2023 | 14:09

Spanish federation to investigate Barcelona payments to company owned by refereeing official

The Spanish Football Federation says they have asked Barcelona for more information about payments to a company owned by a refereeing official.

The Spanish press reported on Wednesday that


paid around €1.4m between 2016 and 2018 to a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, who was then the vice-president of a refereeing committee of the Spanish football federation. Reports revealed that Spanish prosecutors are investigating payments Barcelona made.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation announced on Thursday that they have asked Barcelona and the Technical Committee of Referees for information regarding these payments.

The RFEF in a statement said its integrity department

"initiated a request for information reserved for both those responsible for the CTA and FC Barcelona".

It added:

"As soon as sufficient information is available, the RFEF will adopt the corresponding measures within the framework of legality that must prevail in all these situations.

"The RFEF agreed yesterday to appear in the possible judicial procedures that are followed on this matter.”

Barcelona released a statement on Wednesday and revealed that they were aware of the investigation. The Spanish club denied wrongdoing, stating they previously hired

"an external consultant"


provided video of youth players from other teams, together with

"technical reports related to professional refereeing",

which it said was

"a common practice among professional football clubs”.

Barcelona also said they would take legal action

"against those who are trying to tarnish the club's image with possible insinuations against its good reputation”.

The former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told the sports daily Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday that payments started in 2003 and were made legitimately and then later finished as part of cost cuts in 2018.

Enríquez Negreira also has denied ever favouring Barcelona in any refereeing decisions. He left his role in the Technical Committee of Referees in 2018.

source: SportMob

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