Barcelona President, Joan Laporta charged with bribery in referee payments

Joan Laporta becomes Barcelona's 41st President

Joan Laporta, the President of Barcelona, has been accused of bribery in relation to referee payments, according to reports from the Spanish news agency EFE.

The alleged payments were made to companies connected to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a former vice-president of the refereeing committee.

However, these charges pertain to Laporta’s previous tenure as President at the Nou Camp between 2003 and 2010.

Initially, Laporta was not included as a defendant when bribery charges were filed against Barcelona in September, but the judge overseeing the case has now decided to include Laporta and his board of directors from the time the payments were made, as the bribery is considered to be ongoing.

Other individuals accused in the case include former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as Negreira and his son, Javier Enriquez Romero.

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

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