UEFA studies sanctioning Barcelona without playing in the Champions League for damaging its reputation

Problems are piling up for FC Barcelona. Despite the fact that in Spain he would be free to comply with any type of sporting sanction for the ‘Negreira Case’ having prescribed, it could not run the same fate in Europe. At this time, UEFA is studying the possibility of sanctioning the Catalan club for its involvement in fraudulent payments to the vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees.

The establishment chaired by Aleksander Ceferin and which directs European football is studying the case after having contacted the Royal Spanish Football Federation, an organization that has sent it all the information it has on the scandal that links Barça to the old collegiate.

If UEFA considers that the actions of Barça, a team that participates in its competitions, tarnish the image of the European federation, it could apply its regulations to sanction the Barça entity even if in the end the club does not receive any penalty for its dark relations with the CTA during the Negreira stage. The organization that Ceferin presides over could rely on the fact that the presence of Barça would damage the reputation of competitions such as the Champions League or the Europa League.

The latest advance that the ‘Negreira Case’ has registered has been the complaint that the Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has issued against the club and against various senior officials of the club for making payments to José María Enríquez Negreira to obtain “arbitral favours” with respect to the designations of the referees who had to direct the matches of the Catalan club. This has been considered by the provincial authority of Ciudad Condal as reflected in the letter sent where his complaint is collected.

This circumstance could seriously jeopardize Barça’s presence in European competitions next season since, when the complaint is admitted for processing, UEFA could expel the club from its tournaments without waiting for a final ruling or that it is approved that there is a case of continued sports corruption. The reason would be to consider that the reputation of the entity chaired by Ceferin is damaged by the mere presence of the Barça team.

UEFA is protected by its own regulations to apply this sanction as stated in article four thereof. Section ‘G’ of said regulation includes the admission criteria of the clubs that participate in the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League and states that their teams cannot have participated “in the illegal alteration of matches both nationally and international”.

The European federation has reserved the right of admission for all clubs despite the fact that they have earned access to their competitions through sport. Therefore, if you consider that any of these do not meet all the conditions stipulated in its regulations, you are free to veto their presence.

UEFA defends that this power responds to the principle of preserving at all costs the reputation of its competitions and of the organization itself, which cannot be questioned at any time. And much less by a team indicated for suspicion of paying bribes and denounced for continued sports corruption by the Prosecutor’s Office.

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