Former FC Barcelona's President Josep Maria Bartomeu arrested

Saitama (Japan).- (FILE) - FC Barcelona's President Josep Maria Bartomeu is seen before a pre-season friendly soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Japan, 23 July 2019 (re-issued on 01 March 2021). Former FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, along with former director of the presidency area Jaume Masferrer, current director general of the club, Oscar Grau and head of the legal services ??Roman Gomez Ponti, was arrested on 01 March 2021 as part of the investigation known as 'BarcaGate', judicial sources confirmed to Spanish national agency EFE. (Futbol, Amistoso, Japón, Tokio) EFE/EPA/KIYOSHI OTA *** Local Caption *** 55357134 Former FC Barcelona's President Josep Maria Bartomeu arrested

01-03-2021KIYOSHI OTA

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was arrested on Monday after Catalan police officers searched the La Liga club's offices, Spanish radio station Cadena Ser reported on Monday.

A regional police spokeswoman confirmed several arrests had been made following an investigation by the force's financial crimes unit, without confirming the number of arrests made or their identities.

Los Mossos registran las oficinas del F.C. Barcelona por el "BarçaGate"

A Barca spokeswoman confirmed the offices had been searched but did not make any additional comment.

Bartomeu's lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.

The investigation stems from the 'Barcagate' affair which was unearthed last year by Cadena Ser and revealed the club had contracted marketing consultancy I3 Ventures to monitor social media activity.

Los Mossos registran las oficinas del F.C. Barcelona por el "BarçaGate"

The revelations led to protests from supporters and to several board members resigning while increasing the pressure on Bartomeu, who eventually stepped down in October after facing a vote of no-confidence.

The club's members will vote to elect a new president in next Sunday's election, which was postponed from January due to COVID-19 restrictions in Catalonia.

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