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Police enter Barcelona's stadi...
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Police enter Barcelona's stadium in search and seize operation

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:32 1 Mar 2021

Catalan police have searched the offices of Barcelona and made several arrests after an investigation into financial issues at the La Liga club.

The news comes less than a week before presidential elections are to be held and it has been reported that former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu is among those who have been arrested.

According to reports in Spain, it is in relation to last year’s "Barca-gate," in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who were critical of the club.

Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola, Xavi and Gerard Pique were among those allegedly targeted by I3 Ventures in a three-year smear campaign.

Bartomeu, who was president at the time denied the accusations last February but eight club members launched an official police complaint, prompting an investigation.

Catalan police have confirmed they have made several arrests but have not confirmed the number of arrests made or their identities.

Bartomeu and his board of directors resigned last year amid fallout from the controversy surrounding Messi.

The presidential elections are to be held next Sunday, with more than 20,000 Barcelona members having already cast their vote via postal ballot.

Victor Font, Joan Laporta and Toni Freia are the three candidates on the final ballot for the vote.

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