Barcelona president Joan Laporta is facing charges in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged bribes paid to referees, as confirmed by a Spanish court on Wednesday.
The club itself, along with two of its former presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as the former head of Spain’s referees body, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, and his son, have already been charged in this case.
Laporta’s charges are related to his initial term as Barcelona’s president, spanning from 2003 to 2010.
The judge leading the investigation, in his report published on Wednesday, expressed the opinion that Laporta could not escape the statute of limitations due to the gravity of the accusations.
Negreira is alleged to have received over seven million euros ($7.5 million) from Barcelona between 2001 and 2018 through companies supposedly responsible for producing refereeing reports for the club.
Despite these allegations, Barcelona, a 27-time Spanish champion, has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has been actively contesting these accusations for several months.