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Barcelona CEO and former president arrested; Details

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 • Tamil Comments

Following a raid at Spanish football club Barcelona's offices on Monday, the club's CEO Oscar Grau and former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu were arrested. The latter's adviser Jaume Masferrer and head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti have also been held by the Spanish police.

As part of an investigation into a corruption scandal called 'Barcagate,' the Catalan regional police searched the offices at the Camp Nou Stadium on Monday. The controversy revolves around the club being accused of covering up payments made to a company called I3 Ventures, hired to criticize current and former players and boost the image of then-president Bartomeu on social media. Barcelona player Lionel Messi had described the scandal as "strange." Bartomeu had mentioned last year that the company was hired only to monitor posts on social media.

"Let one thing be clear. To the question: Have we commissioned the monitoring of social networks? The answer is yes. To the question: Have we commissioned to discredit people or institutions through social networks? The answer is no and we will take action against all those who accuse us of that," the former Barcelona president stated.

After conducting a raid that lasted several hours, the police reportedly mentioned in a statement, "We want to highlight the attitude and collaboration of the FC Barcelona in the records that have been made today and during the course of the investigation. The investigation, which has been going on for almost a year, is still ongoing.'' While Grau and Gomez Ponti were allowed to return home, Bartomeu and Masferrer spent the night in custody.


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