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UEFA opens investigation into Barcelona-Negreira case

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The European football governing body will investigate payments Barcelona allegedly made to a former vice-president of the Spanish referee committee.

UEFA has appointed ethical and disciplinary inspectors to investigate a concerning claim that Barcelona made payments to a company owned by a former top referee.

The situation has raised eyebrows and prompted a swift response from authorities to ensure all actions taken are above board and do not compromise the integrity of the game.

The allegations are based on suspected dodgy payments to a company headed by none other than Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira; a former referee. The Spaniard was a top-match official who once served as vice president of Spain’s Technical Committee of Referees (CTA).

“In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics, and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by FC Barcelona in connection with the so-called ‘Caso Negreira’,” a UEFA statement read.

“Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”

Last month, the Catalan radio station, Ser Catalunya, claimed Negreira’s organization, DASNIL 95 SL, created detailed written reports and in-depth DVD evaluations of referees before Barcelona’s matches.

The alleged payments Barcelona made were between 2001 and 2008. Prosecutors claim the club paid €8.4 million in total.

Barca’s president, Joan Laporta, has denied any wrongdoing. He has suggested the allegations are an attempt to derail the Spanish league leaders.