As if referees are not in the spotlight often enough in Spain, the entire organisation has been called into question over the last 24 hours. It has emerged that Barcelona paid Dasnil 95 €1.4m over three years for consultancy services relating to referees and scouting. The problem is that the owner of that company was the Vice-President of the Referees Committee.
Enriquez Negreira has become an infamous name overnight, following the revelations yesterday. The details were uncovered by a tax investigation, but Barcelona are not thought to have committed any crimes. In terms of public opinion and image, the trial is already over.
Former referee Juan Andujar Oliver was on Spanish radio station Onda Cero the night after the news broke and called on referees to take action.
“This is very serious. The referees must complain formally.”
“I’m not in a very good mood. Those of us who have believed in honesty feel bad and uncomfortable. I have put my neck on the line for everyone’s honesty. I tell you honestly, now I only put my neck on the line for myself. I have felt embarrassed and ashamed. For those of us who have loved and love refereeing have people who do these things.”
He also detailed how Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, son of Enriquez Negreira, was present at matches at Camp Nou and even transported them to Barcelona.
“I have called people… For important Barcelona matches in his field, the son of Enrique Negreira, who was also involved in the Technical Committee, called the referees to tell them which hotel he was in and told them that he was taking them to the stadium.”
Jose Maria was supposedly the one who dealt with Barcelona far more often in the deliverance of the services for Dasnil 95.
“He went to all the meetings of the Technical Committee with all the referees. He was going to give instructions to all the referees. Until 2018 he has been their coach, that is, the referees have given this man all their information and thoughts while he had them in his hands.”
The picture Andujar Oliver paints is a concerning one to say the least. If either had wanted to exercise their influence in favour of Barcelona, then it seems like the conditions were in place.
While not contradicting the idea that Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira was present at Camp Nou, another former referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez has contrasted the image Andujar Oliver paints. He was clear that he did not think there had been any tampering with referees, and even believes it was difficult for Enriquez Negreira to do so, but said an investigation was the best way to clear things up.
Unless the facts are different to that being published
This should result in expulsion from the league