The Negreira scandal continues to cast a shadow over FC Barcelona, with new allegations of bribery levelled against the club.
The Blaugrana allegedly paid Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the Referees’ Technical Committee (CTA), over a lengthy period of time in order to influence match referees and their choices.
The club has already spoken out on the issue, with Joan Laporta acknowledging that payments were paid for scout reports on referees and young players in Spain.
However, earlier today, the Negreira case examiner, Judge Joaqun Aguirre, delivered a decision in which he argues that Barcelona’s payments to Negreira would constitute an accused “bribery” crime.
Barcelona calm about recent developments
The ruling issued on Thursday attributes the crime of bribery to the club and the rest of the defendants – among them former Barça presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell and Negreira and his son.
But, Ferran Correas of SPORT is reporting that Barcelona are not worried or concerned about the latest allegations of bribery being levelled at them.
The feeling is one of calm because this was a scenario that the club’s legal team had already considered at the outset.
Barça’s legal services are already working on this new situation. The club insists that there was never any match-fixing and that as they have not been able to find a single payment to a referee they are looking for anything else that could harm the club.
When Xavi was asked about the charges during his press conference earlier today, he was quick to dismiss the matter, as he said:
You know my opinion. I have never had the feeling that it has benefited us, never. A week from now there will be another piece of news, a month from now another one….”
“I have little time to reflect on things other than football. Not on these issues.”
At this point, there is no official statement expected to be made by Barcelona regarding the matter.