The LaLiga club had announced a global deal with Ownix earlier this month, which was set to allow fans to acquire and own digital assets featuring some of Barca’s most famous moments on the pitch. The NFT auction featuring photos and videos was due to take place on 24th November.
However, reports emerged last week that Israeli crypto mogul Moshe Hogeg, along with other individuals, had been arrested on fraud and assault charges. According to CoinDesk, Hogeg’s offenses include conspiracy to commit crime and falsifying corporate documentation, as well as a number of offenses related to sexual assault.
As a result, given Hogeg’s ties to the NFT provider, Barca have taken the decision to cancel their contract with Ownix.
A statement from Barca read: ‘In light of information received today that goes against the club’s values, FC Barcelona hereby communicate the cancellation of the contract to create and market NFT digital assets with Ownix with immediate effect.’
It sees Barca become the second European heavyweight under the spotlight for its commercial dealings. Also last week, Premier League champions Manchester City suspended their arrangement with cryptocurrency firm 3Key Technologies amid concerns over the company’s legitimacy.