Crime & Justice

Barça president Laporta under investigation in referee payments case

Barcelona, Spain, Oct 18 (EFE).- FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta was placed under formal investigation on Wednesday as part of a probe into payments the club made to the former vice president of Spain’s referee committee (CTA), José María Enríquez Negreira.

The judge investigating the case ruled that Laporta, who also served as club president from 2003 to 2010, could be charged as the alleged offenses are not time barred.

Wednesday’s ruling contradicts the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which had previously said that Laporta could not be charged in relation to 7.3 million euros that Barça paid to Negreira and his son between 2001 and 2018 because the statute of limitations had expired.

Prosecutors have accused the LaLiga club of “continued sporting corruption”, breach of trust and false documentation over payments totaling 7.3 million euros to a firm belonging to Enríquez Negreira between 2001 and 2018.

The club has denied any wrongdoing and has acknowledged the payments, saying it had received technical reports on refereeing as part of the deal, which Barca insists was above board.

Former club presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu have already been charged in the case. EFE


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