The European Football Union (UEFA) today confirmed Barcelona’s participation in the upcoming Champions League, although it said an investigation into the payment of referee officials could be reopened if new evidence emerged.
Barca’s place in the group stage of the Champions League could be in jeopardy due to the so-called “Casso Negreira” case.
Court documents showed that Barcelona paid 7.3 million euros from 2001 to 2008 to the company of Jose Maria Negreira, the former vice president of the soccer referees committee.
Prosecutors in Spain have accused Barcelona of sports corruption, mismanagement and falsification of business documents.
However, since UEFA opened this investigation in March, no clear evidence of match-fixing or referees influencing the outcome of matches has emerged.
UEFA rules require teams to be banned from European competitions if they are involved in fixing any domestic or international match since April 2007.
UEFA announced today that Catalan team are now “provisionally allowed to participate” in the Champions League, although “a change of admission/exclusion decision is still possible”.
Barcelona has consistently denied all allegations, saying it paid for technical reports on referees but never tried to influence their decisions in matches.