Joan Laporta on bribery case – ‘Barcelona fans can be calm, this case will be archived’

Barcelona President Joan Laporta has reassured fans that they need not worry about the Negreira case, as well as noting that there is no basis for investigating him as part of the bribery charges that Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, Josep Maria Bartomeu and various other directors are facing.

Yesterday it emerged that Laporta himself was now part of the case, and could face trial if it makes it that far. However in an interview with Radio Catalunya, Laporta cast doubt on that.

“I am very clear that all Barcelona fans can rest assured because this case will end up being archived.”

“There is no bribery because Negreira is not a public official. Criminal investigations cannot be forced.”

Laporta continued on to cast aspersions on Court Magistrate Joaquin Aguirre, who is leading the investigation in tandem with the public prosecutor. The latest leaked document shows that Aguirre suspected that a group of referees were corrupt.

“The prosecution described it as sports corruption but at no point did they mention bribery. The judge is forcing this whole story. An investigating judge. It is quite surprising.”

“Knowing the history of this judge, I had a good chance of ending up being investigated. But there is no basis to it, and there is no bribery. There is no continuos crime.”

Laporta was also quizzed on the importance of these refereeing reports – he claims they paid €7.3m over 17 years for consultancy – were necessary, despite the fact Gerard Pique and Tata Martino claimed never to have seen them. He also revealed that they had the same service internalised within the club these days, but admitted they were no longer spending the same amount on it.

Whichever way the case ends, it if fair to ask for Barcelona’s directors and presidents to be a little less opaque about the morality of paying someone active within the refereeing organisation for their opinion, something so far that has not been accepted.

Tags Barcelona Caso Negreira Joan Laporta
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