After the Spanish prosecutors filed a complaint against FC Barcelona two of its former presidents and executives over their alleged involvement with José María Enríquez Negreira's payoff scandal, La Liga giants Real Madrid have released an official statement on Sunday, suggesting that the club will appear in the legal proceedings.
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Barcelona, its former presidents, Josep María Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, and executives Albert Soler and Óscar Grau have been accused of alleged payments to the former Vice-President of the Technical Referees' Committee (CTA), José María Enríquez Negreira following an investigation.
The reigning UEFA Champions League winners called an urgent board meeting on Saturday to discuss the Catalan giants' alleged influence over the referees from 2001 to 2018 and decided to take legal action against their arch-rivals. The official statement by Real Madrid read, "In their meeting held today, the Real Madrid C.F. Board of Directors have inspected the serious accusations brought by the Barcelona Prosecution Service against F.C. Barcelona, two of its former presidents, Josep María Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, and executives Albert Soler and Óscar Grau, on the basis of alleged offenses of corruption in sports, among others, all related to the relationship the club maintained with the former Vice-President of the Technical Referees' Committee (CTA), José María Enríquez Negreira.
"Real Madrid wishes to express its utmost concern regarding the gravity of the facts and reiterates its confidence in the legal system. The club has agreed that, in defence of its legitimate rights, it will appear at the trial when the judge opens it up to the affected parties."
Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira was the vice-president of the refereeing committee of the Spanish football association from 1993-2018 and Barcelona had allegedly paid more than 7.3 million euros ($7.8 million) between 2001 and 2018 to firms owned by Negreira.
Amid the tension between both the clubs due to Los Blancos' involvement in legal proceedings against the Blaugrana, current La Liga toppers Barcelona are scheduled to host Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on March 19 in the league followed by their second leg fixture in the Copa del Rey semifinal on April 5.
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