UEFA provisionally admits Barcelona to its club competitions this season

UEFA provisionally admits Barcelona to its club competitions this season

European football body investigating alleged payments to head of Spain's referee federation from 2001 to 2018

By Can Erozden

UEFA has provisionally admitted Barcelona to club competitions this season despite alleged referee payments by the team, the European football body said Thursday.

"FC Barcelona is provisionally admitted to take part in the 2023/2024 UEFA club competitions. A future decision on admission/exclusion from the UEFA club competitions is reserved," UEFA said in announcing the decision by its Appeals Body.

UEFA are still investigating Barcelona's alleged payments to the head of Spain's referee federation for more than 15 years, which means it can punish the Spanish giants if it detects wrongdoing.

A Spanish court opened a corruption probe against Barcelona in March after it emerged that it had paid €7 million ($7.6 million) to the head of Spain's referee federation from 2001 to 2018.

Following the court's probe, UEFA also opened a formal investigation into Barcelona concerning the payment scandal.

"The Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors in charge of the case are invited to continue and finalise their investigation and to send a further report to the UEFA Appeals Body if and when they consider that the admission/exclusion of FC Barcelona should be assessed," UEFA said, adding that Barcelona has to keep inspectors informed and provide them with all documents and information requested.

Barcelona previously denied any wrongdoing.

The 2023 Spanish champions have automatically qualified for this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.



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