Barcelona are flying this season.
The Catalan giants are on course to win their first La Liga title since 2019.
They currently occupy a 12-point lead over fierce rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.
With 12 games of the campaign to go, it seems only a monumental collapse will prevent Barcelona from being crowned La Liga champions once again.
Barcelona could be banned from the Champions League as UEFA opens investigation
Barcelona are almost certain to finish in the top four and seal their progression to the Champions League for next season.
However, even if they do qualify for Europe’s premier cup competition, there is a chance that they will be banned from competing,according to the Sun.
That’s because UEFA have opened up an investigation into referee-fixing charges.
I was revealed that they paid former vice-president of the Referee’s Committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a total of €7.3 million between 2001 and 2018.
Per ESPN,Prosecutors in Spain stated earlier in March that they have filed corruption charges against Barcelona and the club’s former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu over the matter.
Now UEFA have got involved.
European football’s governing body said in a statement, per the Sun: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the Uefa Disciplinary Regulations, Uefa Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by FC Barcelona in connection with the so-called ‘Caso Negreira’.”
If found guilty, Barca could be given a one-year ban from the Champions League.
Barcelona have denied the allegations of referee-fixing
Barca have strongly denied the allegations made against them.
The Catalan giants have claimed the payments made to Negreira’s company, Dasnil 95 SL, were for ‘technical reports on refereeing’ and argue such services are common.
Joan Laporta, Barca’s president, has defended the club and slammed the allegations.
“Barca have never bought referees nor influence,”he said earlier this week, per ESPN.
“That was never the intention and that has to be clear. The facts contradict those that are trying to tell a different story.”
Barca continue to impress on the pitch
Despite everything that is going on off the field, Barca are continuing to impress on it.
They are currently on a four-game win-streak.
They have beaten Real Madrid twice in those four games, including a 2-1 win at Camp Nou in their last outing.
Xavi’s side are next in action when they take on Elche in their La Liga clash on Saturday April 1.