“I have never seen a strange game,” said Javier Tebas, president of the League, referring to the matches that Barcelona played between 2001 and 2018, a period in which the Barca entity paid around seven million euros to the then vice president of the Referees Technical Committee (CTA), Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. “But”, added the leader of the bosses; “In the rigged games that I have taken to court, I had not seen anything unusual either.” The Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the allegedly unjustified payments that the Catalan club made to the former collegiate through the Dasnil company during the aforementioned stage.
“The payments, of course, are not clear,” Tebas insisted. And he added: “These are strange and unusual events. The amount, the concepts… This has to be clarified. There are clues. I don’t know if it will have affected the issue of matches or not”. And the president of the employers’ association pointed to Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona. “There is no conspiracy in Madrid, they are objective facts that the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating,” Tebas remarked. Last Wednesday, the Barca top manager had pointed out that he did not think it was “a coincidence that this information is coming out now”. Thebes, who has had a tense relationship with Barcelona since Laporta returned to the presidency of the Camp Nou, did not hesitate to go out on the crossroads. “The Prosecutor’s Office does not investigate for a thrown apple, it is the Tax Agency that communicates some facts. Another thing is the media noise and that some put more emphasis on it. We are old enough to know who is more targeted”, completed the LFP leader.
In the sports field, in any case, the possible offense of Barcelona is prescribed. “That is to say,” Thebes explained; “That the League cannot open a disciplinary file nor can there be a sanction. But they are not in the field of criminal law. Barca’s payments to Dasnil were assumed by four Barca boards of directors, those chaired by Joan Gaspart (2000-2003), that of Laporta’s first term (2003-2010), that of Sandro Rosell (2010-2014) and that of Josep Maria Bartomeu (2014-2020), who put an end to these expenditures in 2018, according to him, due to a policy of cutting expenses. “I have not spoken to any of them. They have my phone. The facts are what they are and they must be clarified to the Prosecutor’s Office,” Tebas said.
And he revealed that, after the information revealed by Cadena Ser, he spoke with Lopez Nieto (he was part of the Referee Appointment Committee representing the League) and Puentes Leira (he was the consensus referee between the League and the CTA). In any case, he did not speak with Sanchez Arminio, then president of the CTA. “The arbitrators are appointed by a Committee, not the CTA. And, according to what they have told me, they never had pressure,” commented Tebas, who acknowledged that clubs tend to hire referee services. “They have them, but they are not active. They are former referees. It would be a conflict of interest that cannot be allowed. The difference is that Negreira is active”, explained Tebas. The leader of the employers, in any case, could have been the victim of “a scammer.” “But”, he finished; “We are all adults. So many years it would be surprising.”
You can follow EL PAIS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
Source: EL PAIS