Laporta: "Barcelona NEVER paid for influence within refereeing establishment"

Laporta: "Barcelona NEVER paid for influence within refereeing establishment"

| sport

The Barça president gave a two-hour news conference on Monday to defend the club

The president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, appeared on Monday morning in a press conference held in the Auditori 1899 at Camp Nou to give explanations about the 'Negreira case.'

Laporta was clear and forceful when defending the honour of the club about the payments to the ex-vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), José María Enríquez Negreira, during an initial speech of 35 minutes.

"Barcelona are suffering a gigantic smear campaign because of defamatory conclusions that have nothing to do with reality," he began.

"We want to win by playing well and not by refereeing. We have detractors who try to erode our image and our prestige, but they have never succeeded and never will.

"No smear campaign will prevent Barça from continuing to be a benchmark institution in world sport and loved by millions of Catalans and people from the rest of the world."

The tone of his comments was strong: "Barça haVe never carried out any action with the aim or intention of altering the competition to gain an advantage, we have suffered a public lynching."

In this sense, Laporta acknowledged that "the payments are reflected in the club's accounts, we were transparent" and wanted to emphasise a nuance: "If it were the case that someone tried to take advantage of the situation for their own benefit, Barça would be a victim of the situation."

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