FC Barcelona under investigation for alleged payments made to company owned by referee body's then-VP

    FC Barcelona is under investigation by the Barcelona Prosecutor's office.

    (CNN)The Barcelona Prosecutor's Office is investigating FC Barcelona over allegations it made $1.5 million in payments over three years to a company owned by a then-leading official with Spain's referee committee, CTA.

    Spanish radio station Cadena SER reported Wednesday that the club made a series of payments to a company owned by José María Enríquez Negreira between 2016 and 2018.
    At the time, Enríquez Negreira was serving as the CTA's vice president.
      The CTA is the governing body responsible for deciding which referees and assistants officiate weekly matches in Spain.
        FC Barcelona's final payment was in June 2018, which coincided with Enríquez Negreira's departure from the CTA, according to Cadena SER.
        At that point, former Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Cadena SER he discontinued the payments to reduce costs at the club.
        Bartomeu added that payments to the company had been ongoing since at least 2003, the year he first arrived at the club.
          Enríquez Negreira explained to Cadena SER that he never favored Barça in any decision or refereeing appointment.