Worldwide media shock in reaction to Barcelona referee scandal
The international media relay the shocking news regarding Barça and José María Enríquez Negreira, speculating also on a possible relegation.
The alleged payment of €1.3 million by Barcelona to the former vice president of the Refereeing Committee, José María Enríquez Negreira, has been relayed across the world via different international media organisations.
Diario AS and Cadena SER reported that Barça paid the company DASNIL 95 SL, whose sole beneficiary is Enríquez Negreira, around half a million euros per year between 2016 and 2018. The transactions were listed as “technical advice” so that Barcelona would not received arbitration decisions against them”, that is to say “for everything to be neutral”.
“Barcelona could be relegated due to accusations of paying €1.4 million to the referees” says the American magazine, Forbes. The specialised economics outlet states that the blaugrana “could face extreme sanctions, such as relegation or points deductions”. Forbes maintains that LaLiga “could set an example” if Barcelona are found guilty, “because of the dispute they have with Tebas for supporting the Super League.”
From France they point out how the company DASNIL 95 billed “just over €7,000 in 2019″. The irregularities revealed by AS and Cadena SER ended in 2018 when Enríquez Negreira left the position of vice president of the Refereeing Committee. L’Equipe points the finger at Josep María Bartomeu, former president of FC Barcelona. “The president of Barça at that time has confirmed that the payments had been made since 2003, but that they ended in 2018 to reduce expenses” concludes the French tabloid.
Le Parisien (France)
“Everything seemed too good for Barcelona. Now, just as the club, led by its former idol Xavi Hernández, has regained its colours and is the firm leader of LaLiga, the black clouds return. A new perfume of scandal swirls over the Camp Nou”, says Le Parisien as it chronicles the accusations against Barça. The Parisians emphasise how Enríquez Negreira “has not been able to prove the services he provided to the clubwith any documents”.
Daily Mail (UK)
“The moment is disastrous for a Barcelona team that has been looked at under a magnifying glass over recent years” states the Daily Mail. The British paper emphasises how Laporta and Enríquez Negreira have denied the accusations, saying that “they do not have formal documentation to prove any relationship between the club and the referee.”
A Bola (Portugal)
The Portuguese outlet echoes “the controversies surrounding FC Barcelona over the club’s payment to a former referee”. It reports the “possible case of corruption involving the former member of the Catalan committee between 1975 and 1992 and former vice president of the Refereeing Committee from 1994 to 2018.”
Barcelona face Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday 16 February.
LaLiga Santander 2022/2023
*Data updated to date Feb 15th, 2023
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