As a Lionel Messi comeback gets stronger, the president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta has rejected accusations of referee bias.
Barcelona is currently accused of influencing referee decisions but the club is not backing down. According to Joan Laporta, all payments made to a business controlled by a top refereeing official were openly disclosed and provided in return for technical reports, not to obtain an unfair competitive advantage.
A Barcelona court decided to take up the issue last week after prosecutors complained about payments totaling 7.3 million euros ($7.95 million) to companies held by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira between 2001 and 2018.
Negreira served as a referee and vice president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation’s refereeing committee from 1994 to 2018. Barcelona claimed that they paid him for reports and refereeing-related advice.
At a press conference held on Monday at the club’s Camp Nou stadium to examine the incident, Laporta made the statement. “Obviously, referees were not bought, and there was no attempt to influence their decisions.”
“Barcelona has never done anything with the goal or intention of altering the competition to achieve some type of sporting advantage.”
He also disparaged Real Madrid, the rivals of Barcelona who has joined the prosecution’s case. According to Laporta, referees have historically favored Real. Real Madrid responded with a video that implied that Barcelona was heavily backed by dictator Franco’s regime.
According to Laporta, the accusations of misconduct are part of a “smear campaign” against the Catalan team, which is presently leading La Liga.
Laporta has also shown how none of the accusations has been proven, “The investigation has not been able to demonstrate that the payments made to Negreira’s companies could have influenced the referees or the result of any match.”
Laporta hints that Lionel Messi will come back to Barcelona
Amid the Lionel Messi rumors of a return back to Barcelona, President Joan Laporta has now provided more flames to the rumors. As shown in a video sent on social media by Carrusel Deportivo, Lionel Messi will rejoin FC Barcelona, according to President Joan Laporta.
At the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Sunday, Laporta watched his men’s first team draw 0-0 with the hosts Getafe. The president interacts with spectators in the stadium’s stands in Madrid, Spain.
‼️ ¿Y Negreira?— Carrusel Deportivo (@carrusel) April 16, 2023
-Ahora, ahora verás.
🇦🇷 Messi, ¿al Barça?
💭 ¿Tranquilo para mañana?
👔 Las palabras del presidente del @FCBarcelona, @JoanLaportaFCB, antes de la rueda de prensa por el 'Caso Negreira' destapado por @la_ser pic.twitter.com/XllzzdqGV9
However, Laporta’s reaction to the question of whether Messi will go back to Barcelona is what has most people talking. The president responded with a “Si,” which should go without saying.
Messi left Barcelona as the team’s all-time leading goalscorer and appearances leader in 2021 while under Laporta’s watch. He will become a free agent on June 30 and will be able to leave Paris Saint-Germain without any restrictions.
Messi has decided to quit PSG this summer, according to French outlet Foot Mercato (via PSG Talk). According to reports, Messi and his family have decided to leave the French city. They are unlikely to change their views. Their preferred club is thought to be Barcelona and the player himself decided it after Barcelona contacted him.
Barcelona is now prepared to implement a squad-wide salary cut to permit the return of their great. The reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano disclosed that the Catalan giants are prepared to make compromises. This is to bring their best player back to Camp Nou.
Barcelona is rumored to be ready to offer a deal directly to Messi’s camp in the following days.
Do you think that Messi could be back in the red and blue of Barcelona? Let us know in the comments down below!