Barcelona could be denied entry into the UEFA Champions League if they are found guilty of corruption and attempting to fix the outcome of matches.
While it was previously only intimated that Barça had paid former vice-president of Spain’s refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, for information and analysis on certain match officials, the charges suggest that there was an intent to gain an unfair sporting advantage in lieu of favourable decisions.
“Through presidents [Sandro] Rosell and [Josep Maria] Bartomeu, Barcelona reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement with the defendant Negreira, so that, in his capacity as vice-president of the refereeing committee and in exchange for money, he would carry out actions aimed at favouring Barcelona in the decision making of the referees in the matches played by the club, and thus in the results of the competitions,” Spanish prosecutors said.
Officially, UEFA can bar teams from entering competitions based on historic match fixing charges dating back to 2007 – a much longer threshold than La Liga.
Article 4.01, section G, of UEFA’s Champions League regulations reads: “To be eligible to participate in the competition, clubs must not have been directly and/or indirectly involved, since the entry into force of Article 50(3) of the UEFA Statutes, i.e. 27 April 2007, in any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level and confirm this to the UEFA administration in writing.”