BARCELONA could be KICKED OUT of the Champions League next season as Uefa investigate allegations of payments to referees.
Uefa announced in March that it was opening an investigation into the Catalan giants.
This came after it was reported they had paid just shy of £6MILLION to companies owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of Spain’s referees committee.
The payments are claimed to have been made between 2001 and 2018.
Uefa‘s appeals body confirmed the club had been granted provisional access to the 2023-24 Champions League but acknowledged: “A future decision on admission/exclusion from the Uefa club competitions is reserved.”
Uefa said four months ago that ethics and disciplinary investigators had been appointed to look into “a potential violation of Uefa’s legal framework” in relation to this case.
The appeals body said on Thursday: “The investigators in charge of the case are invited to continue and finalise their investigation and to send a further report to the appeals body if and when they consider that the admission/exclusion of FC Barcelona should be assessed.”
Barcelona deny any wrongdoing in the case.
And they will be hoping to avoid a third straight group-stage exit.
They dropped down to the Europa League but were swiftly eliminated in the play-off round by Manchester United.