La Liga President Javier Tebas has called on Barcelona President Joan Laporta to leave his post if he cannot give a reasonable explanation for the club’s payments to Dansil 95 in El Caso Negreira.
The company owned by former Vice-President Enriquez Negreira allegedly received around €6.7m over a period of 17 years for consultancy on referees. With no evidence of the consultancy found, it has raised concern across Spanish football as to what the nature of their relationship was.
“We are not going to give clues to what we have offered to the Prosecutor’s Office because it would harm the investigation,” Tebas told the media at a La Liga event on Monday.
“I remember when we started in the fight against [match] fixing. What goes against reputation is not fighting against these things. We have already acted as in the ‘Osasuna Case’, where there are managers who are going to jail. The difference is that someone from the refereeing group has entered to influence the referees to be neutral. The path to follow is through the Prosecutor’s Office and the court. The criminal matter is going to be opened, if the Prosecutor’s Office does not do it, we will initiate it.”
“If we didn’t do our best to investigate, it would affect the sponsors. Both investors and sponsors are very clear that we will go to the end, be it a small team or Barcelona. I hope it’s not what the indications say, but you have to investigate.”
Moving onto the subject of the Barcelona President himself, Tebas called for Laporta to step down from his position should he not be able to explain the evidence so far revealed.
“If he doesn’t explain well or more reasonably why they paid him, I think he should resign. He has made some superficial statements. [Made] it seem that all football clubs did it. It is one thing to have a former referee hired and another for that former referee to be within the Committee. It is a subject that I would like to see clarified, even though it is so old.”
Tebas would then go on to affirm that although they are unable to pursue the case in terms of sporting sanctions, due to a statute of limitations, they would do their best to see justice carried out elsehwere.
The La Liga President is not wrong in that Laporta owes the members of Barcelona, and the rest of Spanish football an explanation. There is no doubt a political aspect to this too, with Laporta and Tebas engaged in a battle over several issues too, including the CVC deal, salary limits and the Superleague.
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