FILE PHOTO: Several young people walk past the Futbol Club Barcelona logo outside the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​Spain, January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Feb 17 (Reuters) – La Liga president Javier Tebas says it will be too late for the league to sanction Futbol Club Barcelona over payments made to a company owned by a senior official in Spain’s refereeing body , although it may be possible. area of ​​criminal jurisdiction”.

Spanish radio station Cadena SER said on Wednesday that Barcelona made the payments between 2016 and 2018 to a company owned by José María Enríquez Negreira, who at the time was vice-president of the Referees Technical Committee (CTA).

The Spanish prosecutor’s office said it was investigating payments of around 1.4 million euros ($1.49 million) made by Barcelona.

Barcelona said in a statement that they are aware of the investigation. He said the club “engaged the services of an external technical consultant” who provided him with “technical reports related to professional refereeing”, calling it “standard practice in professional football clubs”.

Tebas stressed on Thursday that it is clear that the services “should never have been provided”, but would have been prescribed.

“It is not possible that there are sports disciplinary sanctions, because from 18 to 23 five years have passed and this type of sanction prescribes three years from the moment the events occurred”, he said. -he declares.

“Another thing is in the area of ​​criminal jurisdiction, which is now the prosecutor’s office that investigates the events that have taken place and whether there may be a possible crime of corruption between individuals in the version of rigging in the sports field. “

Cadena SER collected comments from Enríquez Negreira saying his advice was verbal and included the players’ interactions with the referees, denying that he ever favored Barcelona in any refereeing decision or dispute.

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(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing in Spanish by Tomás Cobos)

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