·28 September 2023
·28 September 2023
Spanish police executed a raid on the offices of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) this morning, uncovering a web of financial irregularities that has cast a shadow over one of the world’s most renowned football clubs, per El Debate.
The public prosecutor has formally charged Barcelona with bribery, marking a significant development in a probe that has been ongoing for several months.
The investigation centres around the club’s alleged payment of millions of Euros to the former vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee over two decades.
Officials from the Guardia Civil confirmed the operation, emphasising that it was carried out under the orders of the presiding judge.
Despite the dramatic nature of the raid, no arrests have been made at this point.
This latest development follows previous allegations made in March by state prosecutors. They accused Barcelona of corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of business documents.
The heart of the matter revolves around payments of around €7.3 million, reportedly funnelled to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a former referee who held the position of vice president within the federation’s refereeing committee from 1993 to 2018.
These funds allegedly passed through companies controlled by Negreira.
Former Barca presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as Negreira and his son, Javier Enriquez Romero, face charges related to the ongoing investigation.
Barcelona have continuously denied any wrongdoing or conflict of interest.
They claim that they made these payments in exchange for technical reports on referees and were not intended to influence referees’ decisions during matches.
These recent events mark a severe blow to the reputation of both Barcelona and the Spanish football federation, coming in the wake of a separate scandal involving sexism allegations against the federation’s former president, Luis Rubiales.
Barcelona now face a long and potentially damaging legal battle as they strive to defend their honour amid mounting accusations of bribery and corruption.