The Civil Guard broke into the offices of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) this morning in search of clues about the Negreira case, which is investigating the million-dollar payments by FC Barcelona to the former number two of the Spanish referees, José María Enríquez Negreira. . The agents search for documents in the offices of the Arbitration Technical Committee (CTA), the body of which Negreira was vice president.
The head of the Investigative Court number 1 of Barcelona, Joaquín Aguirre, has ordered the records in a new piece separate from the case that he has declared secret. The investigation seeks to clarify whether Barça’s payments to the former referee leader – more than 7 million euros over almost two decades – were motivated to influence the decision-making of the referees, so that they benefited the Barça club.
The judge considers that, regardless of whether or not there are specific matches that may have been fixed, there are indications of “systemic corruption” due to payments to Negreira, for which the club has not been able to give a reasonable explanation. The magistrate is now trying to look for evidence that proves this statement; For example, if payments to members can be credited. Although the vice president of the CTA does not choose the referees who will direct the matches of each League day, he does have a direct influence when deciding which referees are promoted and demoted based on a series of scores. The agents are seeking, among other things, the minutes of the meetings of that organization in which Negreira and the rest of the leaders participated.
The searches are carried out at the RFEF headquarters, in the Ciudad del Fútbol of Las Rozas (Madrid), as confirmed to this newspaper by judicial sources, and are being carried out by the Judicial Police Unit of the Civil Guard in Catalonia. , which is the one that carries out the investigation by order of the judge.
The president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, has justified the entry of the Civil Guard this Thursday into the RFEF headquarters due to the refusal of this institution to deliver the various documentary evidence requested by the body he directs. “I believe that the report that the Federation prepared on the Negreira Case and that it sent to UEFA, as well as the survey that they did to the referees and that we have requested, are very important documents so that the investigation can continue,” he said during the presentation of the report on the economic impact of professional football in the 2021-2022 season, reports Gorka R. Pérez.
At the same time, Tebas has stressed that LaLiga is “practically the only private accusation that is giving impetus” to the investigation, and has reproached Real Madrid, another of those involved in the case, for its limited participation. Finally, he stressed his concern about the impact that this cause is having on the reputation of the competition, and has appealed for the investigation to continue “to clarify the level of influence” that the former referee José María Enríquez Negreira had on the behavior of the referees during the time he was part of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA).
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