With the Luis Aragonés hall of the Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas covered by the arbitration group, Andreu Camps, general secretary of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), and Luis Medina Cantalejo, president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) made a staunch defense of the honesty of Spanish arbitration on account of the Negreira case. Thus, the president of the referees referred to the alleged payments by FC Barcelona to José María Enríquez Negreira (1.4 million in three years) for “verbal reports” on referees: “There is no evidence that a referee is dishonest. If there has been anything, it is related to people who no longer belong to this house.”
The appearance of both left several hot spots in the air. The first, the knowledge of a person with governmental responsibilities of Barcelona’s payments to the former vice president of the CTA Enríquez Negreira. “Someone knew the facts and did not report them despite having governmental powers,” Camps said. This was inquired if that person was Albert Soler, former director of Barcelona and member of the Higher Sports Council (CSD) during two stages, the last as general director, a position he left last January. “We do not give names, the federation is studying whether legal action could be taken from such a referral,” Camps warned. Soler testified before the Prosecutor’s Office as a witness that he knew of the reports for Barcelona made by Javier Enríquez, son of the former vice president of the CTA.
Also without saying his name, the current president of the CTA, accused an arbitrator of not having collaborated with the federation in the internal investigation that it has carried out. Among the actions undertaken is the sending of a form to the active members or members of the video arbitration body (VAR). The following day, all the referees returned this duly completed questionnaire. “All but one. That one was called and told what was happening. Until today he has not responded to the request, ”said Medina Cantalejo. Federal sources and a former collegiate present at the meeting assured this newspaper that the referee who did not cooperate was Estrada Fernández. The same arbitrator who has been condemned by the arbitration group for having filed a criminal complaint against Enríquez Negreira and his son on his own, which, in addition, has implied the suspension of the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office. The same VAR referee as this weekend, for matchday 24 of LaLiga, has been relegated to the role of VAR assistant without a justified reason beyond a mere call to action from the arbitration team.
On the other hand, Medina Cantalejo assured that as soon as Estrada Fernández’s complaint is admitted for processing, the RFEF will appear in the case. The accusations, he defended himself, do not correspond to the arbitration body: “There has been talk of a vice president, his son and FC Barcelona, who are the ones who have to be held accountable. What has happened is a shame and it must be cleaned up based on honesty.
The federation also informed this Thursday of the request for information to the federation by UEFA. “Last Friday, the UEFA integrity department asked us for full information on this matter. From the RFEF we sent a complete letter with the information that we had and making ourselves available for everything necessary ”, revealed Camps. According to the regulations of their competitions, to participate in them, clubs must meet two requirements to receive an invitation, an essential requirement. One is to comply fair play financial and the other not to be involved in matters of corruption or sports fraud. According to expert legal sources in sports law, any type of action that could raise suspicions of fraud would be enough to avoid the aforementioned invitation. The mere payments from Barcelona to Enríquez Negreira may be enough for UEFA to leave Barcelona for a year without competing in Europe, as stipulated in its regulations.
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