“I want the ‘Negreira case’, which looks bad, to be clarified and decisions to be made, because there is irregular and non-logical behavior and the intention has to be known,” the president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, claimed this Wednesday, referring to to the millionaire payments from Barcelona to the former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) from 2001 to 2018.
The day after a complaint by the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office was announced against the Barça club, Josep Maria Bartomeu and José María Enríquez Negreira himself for continued corruption in business, which includes fraud in the sports field, Tebas announced that LaLiga was the that, “48 hours after the case was uncovered (on February 15), he reported the matter to UEFA.” “Other institutions did not do it,” lamented the top leader of the club employers’ association, who demanded of Joan Laporta “less victimhood and more clarity.”
“We could not intervene because it was prescribed (the alleged crimes expire three years after the events occurred, according to the Sports Law), but we consider that the UEFA Ethics Committee should intervene,” Tebas proclaimed. The top leader of LaLiga recalled that the highest European body “has already requested information from the Spanish Football Federation (FEF)” and “the pertinent decisions have to be made when the investigation is finished.” “Only the intention of buying a game or acting thinking that you could influence an arbitration appointment can be a crime,” Tebas acknowledged.
While Josep Maria Bartomeu would be the only president of Barcelona investigated for the scandal of the ‘Negreira case’ and the Prosecutor’s Office requests that Joan Laporta be summoned to testify as a witness before the judge, it has also been known that, even after leaving the vice-presidency of the CTA , Enríquez Negreira offered himself to the Catalan club, in 2020, to help the entity with the VAR. “The monster keeps getting bigger and bigger. Everything is very sad, ”Thebes launched.
“Let him look at another door”
“You have to investigate the influences, if they are direct or indirect… It is clear that there has been a very irregular issue, susceptible to being investigated from the field of sports corruption,” he admitted, when UEFA threatened Barça with a punishment that could leave the club for at least one season outside of continental competitions, although, logically, the titles won by the Barça team will not be withdrawn during the stage in which they paid seven million euros to Enríquez Negreira, for supposedly guaranteeing “neutral” arbitrations .
Thebes defended himself against the attacks received by Laporta, who insists that the ‘Negreira case’ is part of a campaign against Barça orchestrated by the president of LaLiga, but the top leader of the professional clubs recommended him to “look at another side”, specifically, without citing him but hinting, towards Florentino Pérez, ally of the Barça boss with the Super League.
«Laporta makes the wrong door again. We don’t have a mania for Barcelona. Absolutely. To say that there is a campaign against the club is a joke, of victimhood. What interest do we have in Barcelona becoming a sports limited company? The Super League is a losing competition. The clubs that are not a public limited company will be protected from the great patrons and rich people of the world, “said Tebas. “Maybe it’s the one from the other door,” he added, referring to the president of Real Madrid without naming Florentino Pérez. “Let him look at another door, the one where he often goes in and out,” he reiterated.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.