The Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal complaint against the Spanish football giant, two previous presidents, and its executives for paying a firm founded by a former CTA vice president to obtain referee information.
According to reports, the club paid Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira’s company between 2016 and 2018 while he was serving as the vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) of the Royal Spanish Football Association (RFEF).
Barcelona allegedly paid €7.3 million ($7.8 million) in exchange for intelligence about the referees between 2001 and 2018.
In response to the allegations, Barcelona issued a statement in February denying any misconduct.
Barcelona claimed to be aware of the probe and to have employed an outside consultant who gave them “technical reports linked to professional refereeing” in addition to the data that the first and second team coaching staff had sought.
The group said that professional football clubs are known to use it frequently.
According to the Spanish Criminal Code, the offences in question carry sentences ranging from six months to four years in prison, a one- to six-year ban on engaging in private economic activity, and penalties.