Spanish media Marca reported on the 11th (Korean time) that ‘안전놀이터 Barcelona may be disqualified from participating in the UEFA Champions League’. Barcelona has been suspected of bribing referees in connection with the steady transfer of money to Negreira, vice-president of the Spanish Referees Association. Barcelona sent 7 million euros (about 9.9 billion won) to the Spanish Referees Association from 2001 to 2018, including 1.4 million euros (about 2 billion won) to Negreira from 2016 to 2018. It is known
Marca said, ‘UEFA has requested to submit materials related to the investigation by the Spanish prosecutors,’ and ‘UEFA can punish Barcelona by banning them from participating in UEFA competitions if they are found guilty by the Spanish court.’
With a record of 20 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses (62 points) in the Primera Liga this season, Barcelona is running ahead of Real Madrid (53 points) by 9 points, leading the league. Barcelona will be banned from participating in the UEFA Champions League next season, even if they win the Primera Liga this season, if the allegations of referee buying are found to be true.
Barcelona president Laporta insisted: “We never tried to bribe the referee and we never intended to do so”.