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Barcelona president, Laporta charged with bribery in referee payments

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Barcelona President, Joan Laporta, has been charged with suspected bribery over referee payments.

Spanish news agency EFE reports that the payments were made to companies linked to the former vice-president of the refereeing committee, José María Enríquez Negreira.

However, these charges relate to Laporta’s first spell in charge at the Nou Camp between 2003 and 2010.

Laporta, whose second stint began in 2021, was not initially named as a defendant when charges for alleged bribery were filed against Barcelona in September.

Former Barca presidents Josep María Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as Negreira and his son, Javier Enríquez Romero, were listed among the accused.

However, the judge in charge of the case ruled on Wednesday that Laporta and his board of directors — from the time the payments were made — should be added to the probe as it is a case of continued bribery.

Barça paid Negreira’s companies over €7million between 2001 and 2018 while he was the vice president of the refereeing committee.