Man City boss Pep Guardiola launches defence of ex-team Barcelona amid Negreira scandal engulfing the club

Pep Guardiola Man City 2023-24Getty
  • Police raid referee offices in corruption probe
  • Barcelona accused of paying refereeing committee
  • Ex-manager Guardiola has his say

WHAT HAPPENED? Spanish police raided the offices Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in Madrid this week, as Barcelona face charges of corruption over payments made to former vice-president of the country's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, in return for favourable refereeing decisions. It is alleged that the Spanish giants paid 8.4m euros (£7.4m) to Negreira and his Dasnil 95 company between 2001 and 2018 and 2016 and 2018 respectively. Now, Manchester City boss Guardiola, who managed Barca between 2008-2012 in the most successful period in the club's history, has responded to these allegations.

WHAT THEY SAID: Guardiola said on Friday: “Wait and see…let the justice, the process (run). So far what I heard…I didn’t see or read, because I’m out of that, but I didn’t see Barcelona really, really, really, really pay a referee to take a benefit. I didn’t see that, I didn’t read it. That’s why I want to wait before I have an opinion, because Barcelona is going to defend what they have to do, and we will see.

“What I’m pretty sure is when Barcelona won, it was because they were better than the opponents. That I’m pretty convinced about right now – in our day. We won because we were far better than our rivals. And when they were not, they don’t win, they lose. But justice will decide what really happened.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona have denied any wrongdoing and no arrests were made during the search in Madrid this week. In February, 18 of the 19 other La Liga clubs expressed "deep concern" over this matter. If found guilty of these allegations, this could rock the club and its legacy going forward.


Pep Guardiola Barcelona UCL trophyGetty ImagesPep Guardiola Man City 2023-24Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Barcelona and the rest of the footballing world will wait and see what comes out of this investigation.

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