(FILE) The president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, addresses the press during the signing of the renewal agreement between LaLiga and Carolina Marín, in Madrid, Spain, 8 March 2023. EFE/ Daniel González

Barça call for Tebas to resign over ‘false’ evidence in referee payments case

Barcelona, Apr 3 (EFE).- FC Barcelona on Monday called for LaLiga president Javier Tebas to resign amid reports in Spain claiming he provided false information to prosecutors investigating payments the club made to a former senior referee.

The Catalan club is under investigation for paying the former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees, José María Enríquez Negreira, approximately 7.3 million euros over nearly 20 years.

Tebas has been among the club’s most vocal critics over the scandal, but Barcelona have insisted the payments were above board.
According to a report in La Vanguardia newspaper, Tebas provided false evidence to the public prosecutor implicating two former Barcelona club presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell.

(FILE) The president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, in the box during the LaLiga match between Barcelona and Valencia, at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, 5 March 2023. EFE/ Alejandro Garcia

In a statement, Barcelona said it wanted to express its “profound anger, indignation and disgust” following the reports that Tebas provided “false evidence to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to incriminate our club.”

Because Tebas “has attributed to himself functions that do not correspond to him, but also out of dignity and respect for the presidency of LaLiga, Mr. Tebas should resign from his position,” the club said, accusing him of having an “obsession with persecuting FC Barcelona and constantly showing his aversion and manifest antipathy towards” the club.

Barcelona said it had been the victims of “harassment” by the media over the referee payments case, accusing LaLiga and Tebas of “stoking the fire” and trying “to condemn us in the court of public opinion before the facts have been judged.”

“As president Joan Laporta has said in recent weeks, (Barcelona) feels that it is the victim of a media lynching for facts that have never happened: Barça has never bought referees,” the statement said.

Tebas responded on Twitter Monday, calling the reports “false” and accusing La Vanguardia of “slander”.EFE