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Police Raid Spain Football Referee HQ Over Barca Corruption Probe

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Police on Thursday raided Spain’s football refereeing headquarters as part of a probe into claims FC Barcelona paid for favourable decisions in a fresh blow for Spain’s scandal-hit football association.

The search was ordered by the judge investigating the so-called Negreira case involving payments allegedly made to a firm owned by a former top refereeing official Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

Police began the search early on Thursday at the offices of the CTA referees’ technical committee located at the RFEF football federation headquarters on the outskirts of Madrid.

A Barcelona court ordered the search “as part of the investigation into the suspect payments made by the Catalan club” to Negreira, a statement said.

Prosecutors suspect that between 2001 and 2018, Barca paid millions of euros to Negreira’s company Dasnil 95 to secure favourable refereeing decisions from corrupt officials.

While the club admits making payments to Dasnil, it said the firm was paid to advise it on refereeing matters. It denies all wrongdoing.

Also Thursday, magistrate Joaquin Aguirre said he would investigate the club and several of its former directors for bribery.

The fact that Barcelona paid “one of the CTA’s three vice presidents through intermediary companies” is not in dispute, the judge wrote in his decision.

The payments, which lasted about 18 years, grew steadily “from an initial 70,000 euros a year to 700,000 euros” and stopped when Negreira left his position in 2018, he wrote.

“It stands to reason that the payments by FC Barcelona satisfied the club’s interests given their duration and annual increase,” Aguirre said.

“The payments resulted in refereeing decisions sought by FC Barcelona in such a way that must have involved unfair treatment of other teams and consequently systemic corruption across Spanish refereeing as a whole.”

Police investigators were looking into the scope of the graft, he said.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=91088

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