UEFA is also investigating FC Barcelona bribery: ‘Consequences may be gigantic’

The case is all about the millions of euros that the football club allegedly paid to a company owned by the former vice-president of the Spanish referees’ commission. In total, this concerns an amount of about 7 million euros that would have been transferred between 2001 and 2018.

UEFA has now engaged its ethics committee. in the worst case, the football association can exclude FC Barcelona from European football, which would mean a huge financial loss for the club.


Designated inspectors must investigate whether Barcelona has broken UEFA rules. “Football’s reputation is at stake,” La Liga president Javier Tebas recently said. “I am ashamed. We have not heard a good explanation from Barcelona.”

However, the Spanish league La Liga has not launched an investigation. According to Spain correspondent Richard Hogenkamp of RTL Nieuws, this is because the case is time-barred according to the rules of the Spanish competition organization. “But not according to UEFA rules and so they are taking it up. They are working with La Liga, a month ago they already requested all kinds of information there before they officially started the investigation today.”

If the judge convicts Barcelona, ​​they could receive very high fines, says Hogenkamp. “And that while they already had so many financial problems. At the start of the season, the debt was 1.1 billion euros. The board was tasked with putting things in order financially this season, but instead they are now in the middle of this case.”

Cease to exist

“The highest penalty for corruption in Spain is dissolution of the company. If the judge imposed that penalty, FC Barcelona would cease to exist. But again, that is really the highest penalty.”

Sports marketeer Ruud van der Knaap is not afraid that the club will soon be a thing of the past. “Barcelona is such a gigantic institution, people or organizations will always step in. Even if a restart should be made there. We have seen this more often in the past at clubs such as Glasgow Rangers or Juventus, which were also penalized or bankrupted. used to go.”

Acute problems

But it is clear that the consequences are major for the football club. “The current financial situation of the club is already problematic. Barcelona has set everything up to get back to the European top as soon as possible, if they cannot participate in European competitions then the problems will become really acute.”

According to correspondent Hogenkamp, ​​the developments surrounding the club are the talk of the day. “There are even politicians who speak out about it, football is so deeply intertwined in Spanish society. Many Barcelona fans stand right in front of their club, they think it’s not right and that it’s a fabrication to promote the club’s good season to ruin.”

But elsewhere, of course, they say otherwise. “When I speak to people in Madrid, they say that they are not really surprised,” says Hogenkamp. “They think that Barcelona is not afraid of bribery and corruption. The fact that the Spanish club does not seem to take the financial rules seriously given their enormous debt, reinforces these people in that idea.”

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