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Barcelona president Joan Laporta meets UEFA’s Aleksander Ceferin: what did they discuss and what was the outcome?

Laporta has been busy this week as he attempts to explain Barça’s involvement in the ongoing ‘Negreira case’.

Update:
Laporta has been busy this week as he attempts to explain Barça’s involvement in the ongoing ‘Negreira case’.
MARTIN METELKO/EKIPADiarioAS

It’s been a busy week for Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who has embarked on a ‘Negreira World Tour’ of sorts. On Monday, he gave a press conference in Barcelona in an effort to explain payments made by the club to Jose María Enríquez Negreira, the former president of the Spanish Soccer Federation’s Technical Committee of Referees. On Wednesday, he attended the LaLiga Assembly in Madrid, doing the same for the presidents of the league’s other clubs. And on Thursday, he was in Ljubljana in Slovenia to meet face-to-face with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

Laporta’s latest trip included a stop in London, where he met with Pini Zahavi, one of the leading agents in Europe and with whom he shares a close friendship. Zahavi played a key role in Robert Lewandowski’s move from Bayern Munich to Barça.

Why did Laporta visit Ceferin in Slovenia?

The purpose of Laporta’s visit to Slovenia was to attempt to build bridges with Ceferin and indeed UEFA. A little over two weeks ago, the Barcelona president had already made moves to do so by sending a letter of support to his UEFA counterpart as he was re-elected at the UEFA annual congress in Lisbon.

Ceferin goes back on “biggest ever scandal comment”

Ceferin had previously expressed his concerns about the Negreira case to Ekipa, a Ljubljana-based sports newspaper, describing it as “the biggest scandal he had seen in his career in the world of soccer.” After receiving the letter from Barcelona, in which UEFA were asked not to condemn the club before the case had gone to trial, Ceferin backtracked somewhat and spoke of his willingness to take Barça’s wishes into consideration in a press conference following his re-election.

In response, Laporta praised Ceferin’s attitude in his own press conference on Monday, while at the same time bizarrely describing LaLiga president Javier Tebas as a “pyromaniac firefighter.”

Barcelona optimism

As a result of those comments and the meeting between the pair, Barcelona are thought to be feeling more reassured that they will not be punished as a result of the Negreira case and will be able to participate in next season’s Champions League, while at the same time continuing with their plans to promote the European Super League.