Prosecutor probes €1.4 million payment made to refereeing official by FC Barcelona in Spain

A prosecutor is investigating FC Barcelona over €1.4 million in fees paid to a top refereeing official between 2016 and 2019.

The La Liga club made the payments to a company called Dasnil owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

He was the vice-president of a refereeing committee as part of the Spanish FA.

Barcelona said in a statement that it was aware of the probe, which started last year following a tax audit at Dasnil.

The La Liga club said it ‘hired the services of an external consultant’ who supplied it with reports about match referees that would officiate at Barcelona games.

Barcelona added that it was a common practice among professional football clubs, and that the consultant also supplied video reports about youth players from around the country.

The prosecutor has taken statements from some of those involved to see if there is any evidence of corruption.

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday that the payments stretched back to before 2003 and totalled €575,000 euros per year since the 2009/2010 season.

He added they were stopped in 2018 as part of moves to save money at the club.

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