Barcelona’s past payments to referees’ chief cast dark cloud over La Liga | Sid Lowe

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Questions abound after revelations that José María Enríquez Negreira, the former referee, was paid €7m by Barcelona

“Today we talked about Cádiz,” said Xavi Hernández, Barcelona’s coach, and the only person there taking questions. “We talked about Cádiz, we watched a video on Cádiz, we did some Cádiz set plays, everything we did is Cádiz. We took a retreat in Cádiz.” Cádizian isolation, he called it, and it would be a good choice. A festival of parody and rebellion, serious about being silly – carnival was just beginning there, over 1,000km south-west of Catalonia, Europe’s most ancient city becoming its most enjoyable, too. A lot more fun than where Barça actually found themselves, that’s for sure.

“I try to focus on the football, but this club has these things,” Xavi said. Barcelona faced Manchester United and then Cádiz this past week; they also faced something much more serious, as did the entire Spanish game. The story broke on the eve of the Europa League match against United: Barcelona had paid €1.4m to the vice-president of the Spanish referees’ committee, the CTA, between 2016 and 2018. That was just the start and it’s not finished yet. With every new revelation, with every new thing that was said – and not said – it got worse. In total, the Catalan referee José María Enríquez Negreira received €7m over 20 years. None of this is disputed.

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Written by Sid Lowe
This news first appeared on under the title “Barcelona’s past payments to referees’ chief cast dark cloud over La Liga | Sid Lowe”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.