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Barcelona under investigation for suspected bribery in refereeing case - court

FILE PHOTO:Soccer Football - FC Barcelona unveil the new jersey for the season 2018-2019 - Barcelona, Spain - May 19, 2018 The new FC Barcelona jersey is unveiled REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

MADRID - Spanish soccer club Barcelona are under formal investigation for suspected bribery in a probe spanning two decades of activities at the country's refereeing committee, according to a court document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Investigating judge Joaquin Aguirre Lopez said earlier in September that Barcelona may have benefited from "possible systemic corruption". In a statement in February, Barcelona denied any wrongdoing.

In March, prosecutors filed a complaint over alleged payments of more than 7.3 million euros ($7.8 million) over 17 years to firms owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, who was vice-president of the football federation's refereeing committee (CTA) from 1993 to 2018. REUTERS