THE government’s Sports Council is to join the legal action against FC Barcelona over €8.4 million of payments made to a refereeing consulant.
The cash went to a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, with some of the payments coinciding with his role as vice-president of the Spanish FA’s referees committee.
Sports Council president, Jose Manuel Franco told Telecinco on Monday that his body will join other parties in the case.
A Barcelona court heard last Friday that Barcelona and Negreira had been indicted for ‘corruption’, ‘breach of trust’ and ‘false business records’.
The case brought by the Barcelona public prosecutor’s office also names former club presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell.
An investigating judge will decide whether the accusations should lead to charges.
The payments came to light last month following an investigation by tax authorities into Negreira’s company Dasnil 95.
The La Liga leaders acknowledged they had paid Dasnil 95, which it described as ‘an external technical consultant’ to compile video reports related to professional referees ‘with the aim of complementing the information required by the coaching staff’.
It said that ordering the reports was ‘a habitual practice among professional clubs’.
The club stated that it had not done anything wrong, adding there was no conflict of interest involving the payments made between 2001 and 2018.