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Former La Liga referee confirms Negreira did not ask him to favour Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

There is no doubt that Barcelona paid referees for years together in La Liga. The transactions are well documented, and the club do not deny making such a move.

The discrepancy being contested in the court is not for the payments themselves but the motive behind them.

While La Liga accuse the Catalans of manipulating on-field decisions with money, Barcelona maintain that their payments were for regular scouting reports on referees, a normal practice in the football world.

Documents leaked earlier in the week provide a big boost to the club’s side of the story and provide a clear picture of where the payments were headed.

Meanwhile, Juan Roca, a former La Liga referee has come out to speak in favour of Barcelona and denies the possibility of skewing decisions. As relayed by SPORT, he said,

“Negreira never showed me any direct or indirect sign to have any influence on a game. If he had, the refereeing boss would have fired him. I find it hard to believe that he helped Barça in refereeing decisions.”

The former colleague of Negreira then laughed at the ‘reports’ sold to Barcelona, stating that the Catalan club were scammed with ordinary information at the ‘price of gold.’

“I think it’s incredible that someone paid for that. The information that Negreira could give him was statistics that were available to anyone. I think a scoundrel sold smoke and some idiots bought it for him.”

“Even that, at the price of gold, because they didn’t pay for it out of pocket. Between Enríquez and some Barcelona employees they set up the scam for years,” he added.

Finally, the ex-referee reasoned out logically why it seemed impossible to believe that Barcelona bought referees, especially given the meagre amount involved.

“I would be very surprised if a referee allowed himself to be bought for amounts that would not imply his retirement. It’s as if a First Division soccer player, who charges two million a year, allows himself to be bought for 10,000 euros.”

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