- Barcelona president denies any legal wrongdoing by club
- Laporta says he will defend club ‘until my last drop of blood’
Joan Laporta came armed with four boxes, 633 referee reports and 43 CDs as he finally broke FC Barcelona’s silence over allegations that they tried to buy favourable decisions from officials, declaring the club victims of a “gigantic” smear campaign and accusing rivals Real Madrid of “unprecedented cynicism”. In a two-hour press conference, finally called eight weeks after the first reports appeared that payments of more than €7m were allegedly made to the former vice-president of the referee’s committee, José María Enríquez Negreira, over an 18-year period, he went on the attack, declaring he would “defend the institution until my last drop of blood”.
The Barca president denied that the club had committed any legal wrongdoing, although he did say that these days the club’s compliance department would have flagged up a potential conflict of interests. There was no explanation as to why it had taken him so long to offer an explanation.
Written by Sid Lowe
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/apr/17/joan-laporta-barcelona-negreira-real-madrid under the title “‘Public lynching’: Barça’s Laporta hits back at claims of payments to referees”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.