UEFA has announced this Thursday that it will open an investigation against FC Barcelona for a possible violation of the organization’s legal framework as a result of the Negreira case. “Based on article 31.4 of the UEFA disciplinary regime, the organization’s ethics and disciplinary inspectors have agreed to carry out an investigation into the potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by FC Barcelona in relation to the well-known like the Negreira case. More details will be made public throughout the investigation,” the soccer organization wrote in a brief statement. If UEFA detects a breach of the code, within its wide range of punishments, expulsion from competitions is contemplated.
Once the investigative process is open, the UEFA inspectors can close the case or open a file. Once a file is activated, it is when a sanction can be applied. In the aforementioned disciplinary code, the general principles of conduct of the organization are shown. “Associates, as well as UEFA players, authorities, members and staff must respect the Laws of the Game, as well as UEFA statutes, regulations, directives and decisions and comply with ethical, fairness and fair play principles”, expose.
UEFA lists a series of examples in which, if given, a violation of the code would be incurred. “Someone would be breaking the UEFA principles if they get involved or try to commit fraud, active or passive, if they make or receive bribes or are corrupt” is the first of them. Maintaining “decent conduct”, not using sporting events for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature, not flouting UEFA decisions, not interrupting or abandoning a match, entering the field ineligible to play or not cooperating in investigations complete the list.
In the section on possible sanctions to be applied in the event of a violation of the UEFA code being found, a wide range of punishments, both sporting and financial, is established and differentiates between clubs and individuals.
For clubs, it is contemplated from issuing a warning or a reprimand, establishing a fine, prohibiting ticket sales to the fans when they go as visitors, annulling the result of a match, playing behind closed doors, withholding income from UEFA competitions, the disqualification of current competitions and the exclusion of future editions. Titles can also be withdrawn. Financial fines may never be less than 100 euros or more than 10 million euros for clubs.
The scandal over the payments of 7.3 million euros made over the years by Barcelona to José María Enríquez Negreira, former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), has been in court since March 15. Then, the Investigating Court number 1 of Barcelona admitted for processing the complaint of the Prosecutor’s Office and the complaint filed by the VAR arbitrator Xavier Estrada Fernández.
On the economic side, the shadow of the doubt that weighs on FC Barcelona is already having repercussions. Investors have raised the price required to finance this business, proof of market doubts, and the required returns are already around 10%.
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