UEFA president Ceferin underlines seriousness of Barcelona referee scandal

The refereeing scandal involving Barcelona has left an impression upon UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin dubbed the refereeing scandal involving Barcelona as one of the “most serious” situations he has ever seen.

The LaLiga leaders are subject to a UEFA investigation regarding alleged payments made to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the refereeing committee in Spain.

It has been claimed the total payments from Barcelona exceeded €7million, dating from 2001 to 2018, with newspaper El Pais reporting Negreira’s company – DASNIL 95 SL – produced written reports and DVD assessments of referees for the club prior to games.

Barcelona maintain their innocence as prosecutors pursue charges against the Catalan side for alleged corruption, though LaLiga president Javier Tebas admitted the league is unable to sanction the club due to a statute of limitations in place.

However, Ceferin confirmed no such restrictions exist for UEFA and spoke about the significance of the allegations.

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

“I cannot comment directly on this for two reasons. Firstly, because we have an independent disciplinary committee in charge of this. And secondly, because I have not dealt with this matter in detail.

“At the level of [LaLiga], of course, the matter is time-barred and can have no competitive consequences, but the proceedings are ongoing at the level of prosecutors. But as far as UEFA is concerned, there is nothing time-barred.”

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