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New referee testimonies are leaked in Negreira case

Further details in the Negreira case unfold with leaked referee testimonies, indicating they have been taken directly to the dressing room.

Additional information has surfaced in the Negreira case. It’s now a year after initial reports about Barcelona‘s association with former Vice-President of the Referees Committee. Barcelona acknowledges paying Negreira approximately €7-8 million over 17 years for consultancy and scouting reports. However, they are now confronted with charges of bribery and sporting corruption.

Barcelona vehemently denies any wrongdoing in a case that has cast a shadow over the image of Spanish football. Leaked testimonies from approximately 20 referees, including Antonio Mateu Lahoz, Santiago Jaime Latre, and Alfonso Pino Zamorano, reveal additional details about the protocols during Negreira’s tenure as VP.

According to the leaked testimonies, referees from the top four divisions of the refereeing hierarchy dined at a restaurant owned by Negreira and his wife in Barcelona. Additionally, luxury cars reportedly dispatched to pick up referees from their hotels. They also transported them to Camp Nou for Barcelona matches. Barcelona sees this as a courtesy. However, it deviates from standard practice and is now under scrutiny.

Mateu Lahoz acknowledges the existence of ‘organised dinners’ at Negreira’s bar

Jaime Latre revealed in his testimony that on 2-3 occasions, Negreira’s son, Javier Enriquez Romero, escorted him all the way to the dressing room. Latre believes this was an attempt to establish proximity to referees, players, and football figures, potentially advancing his own business interests and client list. Enriquez Romero currently serves as a mental coach for players and referees.

Mateu Lahoz acknowledges the existence of ‘organised dinners’ at Negreira’s bar. Although, he personally did not accept the invitation. Pino Zamorano recounts an incident where he ended up in a karaoke bar with other officials and Negreira. Notably, both Jaime Latre and Mateu Lahoz deny having knowledge of Negreira’s employment by Barcelona.

Sources in the Compliance Department at Barcelona reportedly deny any investigation into the matter. This contradicted President Joan Laporta’s earlier claim. El Mundo also suggests that the payments to Negreira were never subjected to an audit. That’s a deviation from typical procedures and considered unusual.

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.
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