‘No matter how much they search, they won’t find anything’ – Joan Laporta on Negreira case

Barcelona President Joan Laporta has been firm in his declarations to members of the club that they need not fear the bribery case the club and he are being attacked for.

After payments of €7.3m to former Vice-President of the Referees Committee Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira came to light, taking place between 2001 and 2018, Barcelona are now under investigation for sporting corruption and bribery. This week Laporta himself was added to the case as an individual.

On Thursday he declared that there was a ‘sociological Madridismo’ working against the club that was responsible for the case, and during the club’s general assembly, Laporta doubled down.

“The history of Barca must not be stained. We cannot and we will not allow it. I am referring to the most ferocious attack in the history of the club. It is an unprecedented campaign of discredit and we do not have to allow it, all of us. We are in permanent combat.”

“No matter how much they search, speculate and defame, they are not going to find anything. They say this, that, they claim we did this – but they do not prove it. They have not proven anything.”

“We have not done anything of what we are accused of. We have explained it clearly. In the judicial process we are making our case with evidence. The facts have to be proven. This arbitration advice was used for 18 years There is nothing that we are accused of. This Negreira case has been used to harm Barca. Who are they? People who do not want Barca to be More than a Club.”

The case is currently in the investigation phase, and currently the avenue being explored is bribery of a public official. It is illegal to pay a civil servant for doing their job, and the investigating judge has dismissed Barcelona’s assertion that the payments to Negreira were for scouting reports on referees.

The case could well hinge on whether Negreira is deemed a public official or a private one. The Spanish Football Federation, the RFEF, are a private entity, but Magistrate Joaquin Aguirre posits that Ministry for Sport’s ability to suspend the President of the RFEF qualifies them as a public body.


Image via LLUIS GENE / AFP

Tags Barcelona Caso Negreira Joan Laporta
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