On Friday, September 29, 2023 (9/29/23) at Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, Sevilla takes on Barcelona in a La Liga match.
HOW TO WATCH: Viewers may watch the game with an ESPN+ subscription or a free trial of fuboTV, which carries ESPN Deportes.
What you need to know is as follows:
The La Liga.
Who: Sevilla vs. Barcelona
When: September 29, 2023, Friday
Time is 3 p.m.
Where: Camp Nou on Spotify
viewing: ESPN Deportes
Story of AP soccer:
Spain’s BARCELONA (AP) — In the course of an investigation into the payment of millions of dollars over several years by Barcelona to a former vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee, Spanish police conducted a raid on the soccer federation’s offices on Thursday.
The refereeing committee’s offices at the federation headquarters outside of Madrid were searched, the Guardia Civil confirmed to The Associated Press. Police claimed they were operating on the instructions of judge Joaquin Aguirre, who is looking into the case for a court in Barcelona, and that no arrests had been made.
Barcelona was formally charged with sports corruption, dishonest administration, and falsifying mercantile data by state prosecutors in March. The club allegedly paid José Mara Enrquez Negreira, a former official who served on the federation’s refereeing committee from 1994 to 2018, $7.7 million between 2001 and 2018.
The raids follow a sexism scandal that shook the organization after its former president kissed a player on the lips during the Women’s World Cup awards ceremony last month without asking her permission.
Also on Thursday, Aguirre formally added a fresh complaint to the investigation, claiming that there are signs that Barcelona and Negreira engaged in bribery. The charge of sports corruption has been replaced with the charge of bribery.
The payments were first looked into as part of a tax investigation into a business owned by Negreira. Barcelona has denied any misconduct or conflicts of interest, claiming that while it paid for referee technical reports, it never attempted to sway their judgments during games.
Xavi Hernández, the coach of Barcelona and a former player for the team from 1998 to 2015, reiterated his defense of the organization on Thursday.
The former Spain midfielder claimed, “I have never, ever had the impression that referees favored us.”
Barcelona won six Copa del Rey championships and nine Spanish league championships during the time period under study.
Barcelona, Negreira, former Barcelona presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, and former Barcelona executives Jordi Grau and Albert Soler are among the targets of the charges.
In the years when he was being paid by Barcelona, Negreira did not officiate any matches. He was in charge of administration. He reportedly had some say in whether referees were assigned to the top league or the lesser one, though.
In Spain, getting reports on referees is customary, and teams can hire outside firms to provide them or create them in-house, like Barcelona does right now. However, it is not common practice to pay a person in charge of Spain’s referees a sizable sum of money in exchange for reports.
Referees from Spain defended their integrity in March, saying that the issue should not cast any doubt on their sincerity.
In Spain, a preliminary investigation of a potential crime is conducted by an investigative judge to assess whether it should proceed to trial, which is then presided over by another judge.
The lucrative Champions League and the governing body of European soccer, UEFA, have both taken notice of the situation.
Teams must be suspended from the European competition for one season if they are found to have fixed a local or international game, according to UEFA competition rules. Since UEFA began looking into the matter in March, there have been no claims of any particular games being manipulated or referees being persuaded.
Barcelona was granted permission by UEFA to compete in the Champions League this year, but the organization issued a warning that it would be keeping an eye out for any new information that would indicate possible wrongdoing.
Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish league, stated on Thursday that “the Negreira case” was doing a lot of harm to the league.
Tebas stated that under Spanish law, “the very act of trying to influence (a referee) is punishable.” “While the investigation is continuing, paying Negreira by a club is a very serious irregularity.”