According to the Spanish newspaper El Paí s reported on the 11th, on Friday, local time, Spanish prosecutors formally sued Barcelona La Liga for sports fraud and commercial corruption, involving 7.3 million euros (about 53 million yuan).
The accused included two former club presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Bartomeu, who were suspected of bribing former Spanish Football Association officials to gain partiality in the match.
After learning this news, Barcelona’s arch-rival Real Madrid Club immediately announced that it would hold an emergency board meeting to decide how to respond to the incident.
Laporta, current president of Barcelona.
In February this year, many Spanish media reported that Barcelona was in big trouble, and Spanish prosecutors were investigating its commercial corruption and violation of fair competition.
Sure enough, on Friday, local time, Spanish prosecutors formally sued Barcelona, accusing the latter of colluding with Jose Negreira, former vice chairman of the Spanish Football Association’s referee technical committee, involving a total amount of 7.3 million euros.
The referees’ technical committee is usually responsible for assigning referees for various competitions of the football association, selecting which referees will enforce the law in which post, and selecting referees to participate in international competitions.
Spanish "National News" report screenshot
According to the prosecution’s report, based on an oral secret agreement, two former presidents of Barcelona, Rosell and Bartomeu, remitted about 7.3 million euros to the consulting company owned by grella from 2001 to 2018, in order to seek "favoritism" in the penalty and result of the competition.
Rosell, Bartomeu and two other former Barcelona executives were charged with commercial corruption, unfair management (using partners’ money for illegal purposes) and forging business documents. Once convicted, they will go to jail.
It is worth noting that laporta, the current president of Barcelona, has not been charged. He served as the president of Barcelona from 2003 to 2010, but denied any illegal acts.
Team coach Harvey revealed in an interview that he had already communicated with laporta. "This is the responsibility of the management. He told me not to worry, we just need to focus on football."
Spain’s El Pais pointed out that this investigation originated from a tax inspection, and Negreira told the Spanish tax authorities that Barcelona paid the money in order to have a "neutral" penalty in the competition.
He also said in an interview with Spain’s radio Searle that he would never be partial to Barcelona when assigning referees. His job is just to help the club as a consultant and tell them how players should behave in the face of various referees.
Previously, Barcelona officials had a similar statement, saying that the club only paid an "external consultant" who provided them with "technical reports related to professional referees" and called it "a common practice of professional football clubs".
However, the Spanish prosecutor still considers the amount of 7.3 million euros suspicious because it is nowhere to be found in the club’s articles of association and has not been approved by the shareholders’ meeting.
The Associated Press (AP) analysis believes that it is indeed a routine operation in international football to obtain referee technical reports, and clubs can purchase or prepare relevant information from external companies.However, it is not a routine operation to provide large sums of money to insiders of Spanish referee law enforcement agencies to obtain reports.
Up to now, Barcelona Club has not issued the latest statement on this matter. However, an anonymous club executive told Reuters that the club had "anticipated" the accusation. "This is only the preliminary investigation and hypothesis of the prosecution, and the judicial investigation has just begun. The club will fully cooperate, but we have never bought any referee and never tried to influence the decision of any Football Association official. "
In response to the corruption scandal in Barcelona, the first to take action was its arch-enemy Real Madrid Club. The latter announced on the 11th that the board of directors will be held on March 12th local time.
Real Madrid fan magazine "Madridista Real" reported that the board of directors of Real Madrid may choose to "sever relations" with Barcelona Club, and may even decide to appear as a private prosecutor in future court trials.