FC Barcelona Scandal Explained
FC Barcelona is accused of paying former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, €1.4 million ($1.5 million). The payment was allegedly for advisory work on how players should behave towards referees and to provide tips on what they can or cannot do depending on the referee officiating a certain match. However, Negreira and his son deny that Barcelona ever received any preferential treatment regarding refereeing decisions.
Barcelona has responded to the allegations through a statement, acknowledging that it had hired the services of an “external technical consultant,” but denied any wrongdoing. The timing of the revelation is unfortunate for the club, which is currently leading the La Liga table by 11 points.
Potential Consequences for Barcelona: Relegation and Point Deductions
Severe sanctions, including relegation from La Liga or point deductions, could be faced by Barcelona if the accusations against them are proven true. La Liga president Javier Tebas, who the club is already at odds with due to their support for a breakaway European Super League, could use the opportunity to make an example of Barcelona.
Comparison with Juventus’ Match-Fixing Scandal
If found guilty, Barcelona would not be the first club to suffer the consequences of match-fixing scandals. In a 2006 match-fixing scandal, Juventus, which was found guilty of bribing referees, was relegated to Serie B, and it took them years to regain their standing at the top of Italian football. It is noteworthy that Juventus was the other remaining club supporting the European Super League.
Implications for FC Barcelona
Barcelona faces a challenging time with the allegations that could impact their future if proven true. El Confidencial journalist Albert Ortega pointed out that during the period under investigation, Barcelona did not receive any penalties for 78 consecutive La Liga matches. As such, the outcome of this scandal could have serious consequences for the club.
FC Barcelona’s Response
FC Barcelona were quick to fight back with their response. Which was posted in their official website. The response was made in 5 points:
- That in the past FC Barcelona hired the services of an external consultant that supplied the club’s technical secretaries with reports in video format of youth players from other clubs in Spain.
- Additionally, the relationship with that supplier extended to technical reports related to professional refereeing in order to complement the information requested by the first and second team coaching staff. This a common practice among professional football clubs.
- These kinds of outsourced services are now the duty of a professional who works for the Football Department.
- FC Barcelona is sorry that this information has been released precisely when the team has hit its best form of the season.
- FC Barcelona shall be taking legal actions against those who are trying to tarnish the club’s image with possible insinuations against its good reputation that could be caused by the release of such information.
In conclusion, the allegations of paying a former official for preferential treatment in refereeing decisions could have serious consequences for FC Barcelona, including the possibility of relegation from La Liga or point deductions. While the club has denied any wrongdoing, the investigation is ongoing, and if proven guilty, the team could face significant sanctions. This scandal comes at a challenging time for the club, who are currently leading the La Liga table and have been embroiled in controversies such as their support for the European Super League. Only time will tell what the outcome of this investigation will be and how it will affect the future of FC Barcelona.