Barcelona Investigated for Suspected “Active Bribery” in Refereeing Probe

September 29, 2023 9:00 am

Barcelona is now under investigation for suspected “active bribery” as part of a wide-ranging probe into alleged corruption spanning two decades within the refereeing committee. This development comes as police conducted searches at the offices of the football federation RFEF in Madrid.

The ongoing inquiry is focused on uncovering “possible systemic corruption” within the Spanish refereeing committee. Investigating judge Joaquin Aguirre Lopez, earlier this September, expressed concerns that Barcelona may have benefited from graft. Follow your favourite football team with attractive football betting odds from Nextbet.

In March, prosecutors raised a complaint regarding alleged payments exceeding 7.3 million euros ($7.8 million) made over a span of 17 years to companies owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. Negreira held the position of vice-president of the RFEF’s refereeing committee from 1993 to 2018. It’s worth noting that Reuters has been unable to contact Negreira for comments, and both RFEF and Barcelona were not immediately available for responses.

Barcelona, in February, firmly denied any wrongdoing, asserting that it had made payments to an external consultant who provided “technical reports related to professional refereeing.” The club stated that this practice was common among professional football clubs.

According to Judge Aguirre, Negreira had the responsibility of ranking and assessing referees. However, as of early September, no concrete evidence had emerged to suggest that Negreira had been paying referees to manipulate match results.

As far as the ongoing La Liga season is considered, Barcelona is doing pretty well as they are unbeaten in seven matches so far. They have won five games, while two matches have resulted in draws. They have scored 18 goals so far, the joint-highest in this La Liga season. Get the latest updates from the La Liga only on Nextbet Sports.