Spanish football giants Barcelona have found themselves facing serious charges of bribery in connection with their payments to former Vice-President of the Referees Technical Committee (CTA), Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. This legal matter, commonly referred to as the ‘Negreira case,’ has garnered significant attention.
According to reports by El Debate, Barcelona has been formally accused of bribery by the public prosecutor. This accusation has been officially admitted by Judge Joaquin Aguirre, marking a significant development in the ongoing legal proceedings.
The charges in question are not solely directed at Negreira and Barcelona; they also implicate former Barcelona Presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as Javier Enriquez Romero, Negreira’s son.
While the accusation of ‘systemic corruption’ has yet to be conclusively proven, the charge of bribery has been substantiated, according to the presiding judge. The heart of the matter revolves around Barcelona’s alleged financial compensation to Negreira for his role within a public organization, a practice deemed as bribery under Spanish law.
Although the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is considered a private organization, with the government having no direct authority over it, Judge Aguirre contends that it meets the criteria of a public organization on three essential fronts:
- It was established in the general interest.
- It holds its own legal responsibilities.
- It operates under the supervision of the Ministry for Culture and Sport.
As a result, Negreira is perceived as a public official within this context, thereby creating the foundation for the bribery charges against Barcelona.
The ‘Negreira case’ continues to unfold, and the footballing world awaits further developments in this high-profile legal battle that has significant implications for both Barcelona and Spanish football as a whole.
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