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Breaking: Police Raid Camp Nou, Bartomeu Arrested?

News breaking out of Spain suggests that police have raided the Camp Nou offices amid the "Barcagate" scandal that saw high-profile figures such as Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique being targeted by a social media company reportedly hired by FC Barcelona.

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Local radio station SER Cataluyna has reported that Catalan police, called Los Mossos d'Esquadra, have searched the club's Camp Nou offices as part of an investigation.

The ongoing inquiry has been dubbed "Barcagate", and involves a reported contract between the club and a social media company called I3 Ventures, who were hired to put into effect a smear campaign against popular figures tied to Barcelona.

Among the high-profile names targeted was captain Messi and veteran centre-back Pique, as well as Xavi Hernandez, presidential candidate Joan Laporta and former manager Pep Guardiola.

Click through the gallery below to see some footballers who spent time in jail: 

The company was said to be hired under Jose Maria Bartomeu's reign as president of the club, which came to an end in October last year following a major fallout with Messi.

In September 2020, police reportedly ruled that there was corruption involved in Barca issuing payments to I3 Ventures, with seven senior figures on the Barcelona board leaving the club amid the controversial affair. Two criminal cases – for illegal administration and individual cases of corruption – are being investigated.

It has since been claimed that the former club chief has been arrested by police. 

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This is said to be the second time the club's offices have been raided by Catalan police regarding this case, with the first search reportedly conducted in July last year.


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