«Let it be clear that Barca has never bought referees nor has it had the intention of buying referees. Absolutely never, “said Laporta after two years of his arrival at the Barça presidency.
“The forcefulness of the facts contradicts those who try to change the story,” added the Barça president, who pointed to a smear campaign and announced a press conference to discuss the matter.
The so-called “Negreira” case arose when it was learned that the Barcelona prosecutor’s office is investigating tax irregularities in a company belonging to a former arbitration officer for alleged payments from Barcelona.
The newspaper El Mundo published on February 17 that Barcelona paid more than 6 million euros (more than 6.3 million dollars) since 2001 to the company Dasnil 95 of José María Enríquez Negreira, who was vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) between 1994 and 2018, to advise the club on arbitration matters.
According to the Cadena Ser radio station, which uncovered the case, the last payment would have been in June 2018, just when the CTA was remodeled with the arrival of Luis Rubiales to the presidency of the Spanish Federation (RFEF) and Enríquez Negreira left the arbitration body. .