the investigation into suspicions of bribing referees by FC Barcelona entrusted to an investigating judge

Five days after FC Barcelona and some of its former managers were indicted by Spanish courts for bribing referees, the investigation was handed over to an investigating judge on Wednesday.

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Illustration of the facade of the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​​​​​with the logo of the Spanish club, on August 5, 2021. (PAU BARRENA/AFP)

The turmoil continues for Barcelona. The ongoing investigation, concerning suspicious payments of money by the Spanish club to companies owned by a former head of the arbitration body, has been referred to an investigating judge, a Barcelona court announced on Wednesday 15 March. This is a new step in the jurisprudence of this scandal that is shaking Spanish football.

>>> Football: what you need to know about the “Negreira case” that is shaking Barça <<

Last Friday, the Barcelona prosecutor’s office accused Barça, but also former club presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu (2014-2020) and Sandro Rosell (2010-2014) and former Spanish arbitration number 2 Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira for “corruption between individuals in the sports sector”, “breach of trust” and “false company records”. The case has since been in the hands of the Barcelona court, which has therefore decided to accept the file and entrust the investigation to the investigating judge Silvia Lopez Mejias.

The judge decided to join the complaints filed by the public prosecutor and the arbitrator Xavier Estrada Fernandez, who had also initiated proceedings against Mr. Negreira, and also authorized La Liga to participate in the investigation as an “injured party”, (which it is the equivalent of the civil constitution en partie civil in French law). Silvia Lopez Mejias has instructed the Spanish Guardia Civil to conduct the investigation. Once you have the conclusions, you will set the dates for the hearing of the defendants.

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