The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has appeared in the Negreira case, as confirmed this Thursday in a statement. Once the Barcelona Examining Court number 1 admitted for processing the complaint by the Prosecutor for payments by FC Barcelona to the former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees, José María Enríquez Negreira, the RFEF has followed in the footsteps of Real Madrid and LaLiga . In addition, having analyzed the situation, the RFEF has already sent the report of the Federation’s Integrity Department and all the documentation that supports the letter to the UEFA Integrity Director. UEFA has to determine between the end of May and the beginning of June whether to exclude Barcelona from the next edition of the Champions League. The European organization issues an invitation to the clubs that is essential to be able to participate. These must comply with the fair play financial and not be involved in sports fraud matters to be admitted to their competitions.
The Negreira case was also a protagonist at the FIFA congress in which Giano Infantino was re-elected as president until 2027. Asked about it, the Swiss leader expressed his concern. “We observe everything that happens and when there are negative situations we are concerned because the clubs, especially the big ones, do a lot for football around the world. The example of Spain will have to be analyzed to see how it can be solved, things have also happened in Italy, that is not good for football and we all have to operate, giving a positive boost if possible, because it is useless to grow animosity, it is more important to understand and find solutions”
The text that the Prosecutor’s Office presented in the Investigating Court number 1 of Barcelona after months of investigations contains a devastating description of the operation: “Through the ARF Presidents [Sandro Rosell] and JMBF [Josep Maria Bartomeu] the FCB reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement with the accused JMEN [José María Enríquez Negreira]so that, in his capacity as vice president of the CTA [Comité Técnico de Árbitros] and in exchange for money, carry out actions tending to favor the FCB in the referees’ decision-making in the matches that the Club plays, and thus in the results of the competitions; referees whose designation for each match of the official Spanish competitions at the state and professional level are carried out within the CTA, the body in charge, in addition, of the evaluations —in which the defendant participated— for the promotions and relegations of category of the arbitrators, as well as the proposal of candidates for international arbitrators”.
The RFEF, as stated in the statement, “is collaborating from the outset with the competent authorities to facilitate the work of the investigation into these events that predate the current management team as much as possible.” And he adds: “UEFA has also been informed of the appearance in court by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. At the same time, the aforementioned report prepared by the Integrity department has been transferred to the CSD, with a copy to FC Barcelona and the CTA”. UEFA has to determine in May whether to exclude Barcelona from the next edition of the Champions League if they qualify.
“It is worth reiterating the unquestionable commitment of the RFEF in this matter, initiating an internal investigation as soon as the case became known,” continues the statement that calls for it to go to the end. “The Federation, ready to collaborate at all times, wants it to be reached until the end and asks, in turn, for the necessary and advisable serenity that helps to reduce the climate of tension that has been created towards the refereeing collective. This is not beneficial for football. The application of justice requires time and prove those facts that may be illegal. Likewise, he has thanked the arbitration group for having shown “united” to the CTA environment.
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