Barcelona Could be Banned From The Champions League For Allegedly Bribing Officials

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    Barcelona could be banned from playing in the Champions League after the club was charged for allegedly bribing officials over the years.

    It was reported in March 2023, when the case surfaced, that Barcelona may be axed from the most competitive club competition in Europe if found guilty.

    The bribery was related to Barcelona paying Jose Maria Enruquez Negreira, the former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees, the sum of £7 million.

    The payment was made from 2001 to 2018. However, Barcelona President Joan Laporta claimed most of the payment was primarily for consultations.

    The reigning La Liga Champions have been accused of breaching a law that bans officials from receiving rewards for the performance of public duties.

    The Spanish Supreme Court classified the former Vice President of the Technical Committee of Referees, Negreira, as someone who was at the time of the bribe performing public duties.

    It was revealed that Negreira was given cash through a shell company established by former Barcelona director Josep Contreras.

    Although no arrest had been made, as confirmed by the Spanish Police but the court had ordered a total check on the referee headquarters.

    Former Spanish referee Alberto Gimenez accused Negreira of calling him a chicken and also the mastermind in match-fixing allegations.

    Barcelona

    However, La Liga President Javier Tebas had urged Barcelona to make a statement on the alleged bribery accusations.

    Meanwhile, Barcelona had already started its Champions League campaign on a good note after a 5-0 win against Royal Antwerp on September 19, 2023.

    The Six Times Champions League winners are one of the most entertaining teams in the tournament, and leaving the Champions League will be considered a big blow to the players and the coaching staff.

    Barcelona

    How Xavi Hernandez Reacted After the Club Was Accused of Bribery

    Xavi, who was a Barcelona first-team player from the 1990s to 2015, defended his club in a press conference ahead of the match against Sevilla.

    He said, “I never had the feeling that referees had benefited us. “Never,” he doubled down.

    “Next week, there will be more news from Negreira, and the next one.”

    “And in 15 days, another, and in a month. You already know my opinion. Take a look at the newspaper archive.”

    “You guys like that, no? For me, there has never been the feeling that the referees have benefited us.”

    However, the manager is more focused on the game against Sevilla. Barcelona had been conceding goals in a very cheap way.

    Barcelona had conceded four goals in the last two matches. The club currently sits in third place on the La Liga table.

    Xavi is already considering the next game as a must-win match to enable the club to put aside its disappointing game against Mallorca.

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