UEFA President Čeferin Addresses the Gravity of the Referee Scandal at Barcelona

    UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin called the Barcelona refereeing scandal one of the “most serious” situations he has ever seen.

    The La Liga leaders are under investigation by UEFA over alleged payments to José María Enriquez Negreira, the former vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee.

    The total payout from Barcelona between 2001 and 2018 is said to have exceeded €7 million, with El Pais newspaper reporting that Negreira’s company – DASNIL 95 SL – produced written reports and a DVD of referee scores for the club before the games.

    Barcelona maintain their innocence as prosecutors press charges against the Catalan side for alleged corruption, although La Liga President Javier Tebas has admitted the league cannot sanction the club due to a statute of limitations.

    However, Čeferin confirmed that there are no such restrictions for UEFA and spoke about the significance of the allegations.

    “The situation is extremely serious. This is so serious that, in my opinion, this is one of the most serious situations in football that I have ever seen,” he told the Slovenian newspaper Ekipa.

    “I cannot comment directly on this for two reasons. Firstly, because we have an independent disciplinary committee doing this. And secondly, because I did not deal with this issue in detail.

    “At the (La Liga) level, of course, the case is overdue and cannot have any consequences for competition, but the proceedings continue at the level of the prosecutor’s office. But as far as UEFA is concerned, there is no time limit.”

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