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Barcelona president Laporta hits back at Negreira case allegations: “They are afraid we’ll win everything again”

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Photo by VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP via Getty Images

After being charged with bribery by the investigating judge of the Negreira case earlier this week, Barcelona president Joan Laporta appeared for an interview on Catalunya Radio and lambasted the recent developments.

Initially, Laporta was not under investigation as the statute of limitations for bribery and sports corruption stands at ten years and matters from 2013 and onwards were being investigated as the case started in March 2023.

But Judge Joaquin Aguirre changed the interpretation of the statute of limitations, stating that it goes back ten years from the last act of the alleged crime, which in this case is 2018. And as such, he charged Laporta with bribery as he was still the president of Barça in 2008.

No grounds to charge me, says Laporta

“I understand that there are no grounds to charge me. Knowing the history of this judge, I had numbers to end up investigated. But there are no grounds and there is no bribery. There is no continuing offence,” Laporta said.

“The prosecution described it as sporting corruption but in no case bribery. The judge is forcing this whole story. An investigating judge. It is quite surprising. I am very clear that all Barcelona fans can rest assured that this case will end up being shelved,” he further stated.

Further clarifying that the payment to Enriquez Negreira’s company was only for technical reports on match officials, Laporta added:

“There are two hypotheses. We paid money for services. It was paid by bank transfer and there are invoices. We presented 629 reports and 42 CDs.

“They were useful reports because they were used by people who needed to know this information. We have shown that there were reports, documented with videos in some cases.

“The judge’s hypothesis is that we bought referees and they haven’t proved that. And they won’t be able to because it’s not true.”

‘Madridismo’ behind the whole issue

Laporta then went on to state that there is a lot of ‘Madridismo’ in the power centres in Spain and that they are afraid Barcelona might achieve great heights like in his first tenure as club president.

“There is a sociological Madridismo in the centres of power. There is a lot of force. I have competed against this sociological Madridismo and I have won. They are afraid that what happened in my first term will happen again. We won a lot and that hurt them a lot. They suffered a lot,” he stated.

“We are used to fighting against this. This Madridismo is in the media, in the world of sport. We have to accept this as normal but as Culés we have to know that we have to compete against this.

“They are panicking that we will repeat what we have already done, that we will win everything again.”

Source: SPORT

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