Barca break silence after police raid

World News

LaLiga giants FC Barcelona have released an official statement after the Camp Nou was raided by police on Monday.

Barcelona's facilities were raided by Spanish authorities in a search and seize operation on Monday in connection with an ongoing investigation into last year's "Barcagate" scandal, in which former club President Josep Maria Bartomeu and other officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against Lionel Messi and Bartomeu's other detractors.

Scroll through the gallery to see images of the search and seize operation at Barcelona's offices

Bartomeu is one of four people who have also been arrested, alongside Oscar Grau, director of legal services Gomez Ponti, and advisor to the president Jaume Masferrer, on accusations that the club hired and overpaid a social media company to orchestrate a smear campaign against the likes of Messi, Gerard Pique, Xavi Hernandez and Pep Guardiola, among others.

The beleaguered chief and his board of directors resigned in October last year amid the fallout from the scandal and his arrest comes less than a week before the club's new presidential elections are set to take place.

Barcelona have since responded to Monday's developments with an official statement in which it was confirmed that the club's offices had been searched and that the Catalan giants had offered their full support to the authorities during the investigation.

Barcelona's official statement:

"Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation. 

"The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case. FC Barcelona expresses its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation." 

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