Written by on March 1, 2021

Police entered Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium on Monday in a search and seize operation; police say a number of arrests were made; the operation comes less than a week before the club’s presidential elections take place.

Former president Josep Maria Bartomeu was among four ex-Barcelona officials arrested on Monday, according to widespread reports in Spain, as the club’s Nou Camp offices were also raided by Catalan police.

Current chief executive Oscar Grau, ex-director of legal services Gomez Ponti, and advisor to the president Jaume Masferrer were the other three detained.

The operation is widely believed to be in connection with last year’s ‘Barcagate’, in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players, who were critical of the club and Bartomeu.

Barcelona had denied accusations that they hired and overpaid a company to make negative comments about their own players and opponents on social media in order to boost the image of senior officials. The company was accused of using fake social media accounts to discredit opposition figures when they expressed views that went against the club.

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