Corruption scandal: Ex-Barcelona chiefs 'justify' referee paymentsFootball
Gerard Pique Defends Former Side Barcelona Amid Corruption Allegations
- Barcelona are facing allegations of corruption in relation to the Enriquez Negreira case
- Former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes that the Catalan giants are innocent in the matter
- Real Madrid have announced that they would be against Barcelona during hearings into Caso Negreira
Gerard Pique may no longer be a Barcelona player, but that doesn't mean he won't defend his former team.
The former Spanish international has full faith in Barcelona, as allegations of corruption against the club continue to make headlines.
The Catalan giants are accused of paying the former Vice-president of the Referee's Committee, Enriquez Negreira, over a period of 17 years. It's alleged that Barca were receiving favourable decisions from referees during La Liga games as a result.
As noted by Football Espana, Pique stated that he personally never knew about any dealings with Negreira, and didn't believe that his former side would pay off the referees.
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“I don’t think Barca have bought the referees, I would put my neck on the line, he said.”
Pique added that it wouldn't make sense for Barca to pay Negreira when they could rather bribe the referees themselves if they wanted to go down that route.
"You go with dirty money and that’s it. Things are simpler than going to the vice president and paying him a salary. It doesn’t make sense," he added.
While Barca still have Pique on their side, they don't have Real Madrid in their corner anymore. Madrid recently released a statement in which they announced that they would be present against Barcelona in the upcoming hearings.
The Blaugrana were surprised by the actions of Madrid, and have been left disappointed by the decision, Barca Universal reported.
Two ex Barcelona managers called to testify in corruption case against Catalan clubFootball
Why Barca made referee payments
Former Barcelona presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell have justified the club's payments to Enriquez Negreira.
Barca have been accused of making payments to the former Vice-president of the Referee's Committee over a period of 17 years.
The club have insisted that the payments were to obtain scouting reports on referees in the league and were completely legal, Sports Brief reported.