To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Barcelona could face Champions League ban as corruption investigation rumbles on

Barcelona could face Champions League ban as corruption investigation rumbles on

UEFA have got involved in the investigation into potential match-fixing at La Liga and Champions League giants Barcelona

Barcelona could be banned from playing in the Champions League if they are found guilty of corruption charges.

Spanish football has been rocked in recent weeks after prosecutors brought corruption charges against FC Barcelona.

The Spanish giants are being investigated over payments made to companies owned by a former Spanish referee.

Between 2001 and 2018, Barca paid 7.3 million euros (£6.4 million) to two companies owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, DASNIL and NILSAT. Negreira is the former vice president of Spanish football's refereeing committee.

The prosecutors have formally accused Barcelona of corruption in sports, fraudulent management and falsification of business documents.

The 26-time La Liga winners stand accused of maintaining a relationship with the refereeing official to ensure 'favourable decisions' were made by referees.

Barcelona have consistently denied the allegations, saying they paid for technical reports on referees but never tried to influence their decisions in games.

As reported by El Mundo last week, Barcelona's former directors claimed that the payments were made as 'an act of self-defence'.

Evidence supporting the charges has yet to be made public.

La Liga, the Spanish FA and clubs including Real Madrid are supporting the prosecution, but in a fresh twist to the saga, UEFA have decided to take action too.

On Thursday European football's governing body requested their own investigation, if they find Barcelona to be guilty then the consequences could be severe.

Barcelona are in hot water
Barcelona are in hot water

Under Champions League regulations brought into effect in 2007, UEFA has the power to ban any team found guilty of match-fixing from the Champions League for one year.

Should Barcelona be excluded from the competition, then the financial loss that would involve could be a problem.

Barcelona's financial struggles over the past few seasons have been well-documented, and the club is already looking to take up to 1.5 billion euros worth of loans to finance the renovation of their famous Camp Nou home.

With their player wage bill standing at a staggering £582 million, Barcelona currently cannot sign any more players until they make sales.

The five-time Champions League winners are unable to register Golden Ball winning star Gavi to a senior contract, meaning the 18-year-old could leave the club for free in the summer.

Without a place in the lucrative Champions League, might have to jump through even more financial hoops if they are to avoid another financial disaster.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy

Topics: Gavi, Barcelona, La Liga, Joan Laporta, UEFA, Champions League, Real Madrid