The Negreira case in Spain surrounding La Liga giants Barcelona has developed further with official confirmation coming from European governing body UEFA that it will be investigating the situation.
Barcelona have been indicted by the public prosecutor’s office but the club deny any wrongdoing.
UEFA is to investigate payments made by Barcelona to a former vice-president of Spain’s referees’ committee.
As part of its investigation, European football’s governing body has appointed ethics and disciplinary inspectors as prosecutors allege the Spanish club paid over €7 million to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira and his Dasnil 95 company.
The statement from UEFA read: “Ethics and disciplinary inspectors have 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’.”
That followed a statement from the public prosecutor’s office, which read: “FC Barcelona obtained and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement with Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira so that, in his capacity as vice-president of the technical arbitral committee (CTA) and in exchange for money, the latter carries out actions tending to benefit FC Barcelona in decisions by the referees.”
Barcelona deny any wrongdoing but acknowledge that the payments were made to Dasnil 95 between 2001 and 2018.
The lawsuits were brought by the Barcelona public prosecutor’s office with the payments having come to light following an investigation by tax authorities into Dasnil 95.
The payments were initially revealed by radio station Ser Catalunya and Barcelona issued a response on February 15.