UEFA may exclude Barcelona from the Champions League
The European Football Union (UEFA) may suspend Barcelona from European Cup tournaments if the club is found guilty of a corruption scandal. The day before, Barcelona's prosecutor's office filed a lawsuit over alleged corruption in payments to the former vice president of the technical refereeing committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.
"Barça will only be found guilty if it is proven that the payments to Negreira were intended to secure necessary refereeing for the club. After that, UEFA may believe that the reputation of the Champions League will be undermined by the presence of the Catalan team in European competitions next season, Marca reports.
Article 4 of the European competition rules protects the spirit of the game and, in particular, the values that UEFA intends to establish to ensure fair competition. It states that participants in the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League must not in any way participate in the illegal alteration of matches, whether at national or international level. This directly contradicts the grounds for the guilty verdict issued by the prosecutor's office.
UEFA reserves the right to exclude clubs that have qualified for the Champions League but do not meet all the conditions set out in the regulations. A few days ago, the European Football Union requested information about the status of the investigation, the demands and statements of the prosecutor's office. This caused alarm both in Nyon and at the Camp Nou.
This season, Barça finished its European competitions in the Europa League at the 1/16 finals. In the Champions League, the Catalans finished third in the group stage and did not qualify for the play-offs.
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