Photograph Credit: Javier Blasco/EPA
National Police will be making 11 arrests of players and officials in reported match fixing that took place last year.
Police are investigating an alleged match fixing ring targeting the top three football leagues and several people have been arrested.
The National Police have said that its officers have carried out nine searches across Spain as part of their investigation into match fixing, money laundering and criminal gangs.
“We’re expecting to make 11 arrests, among them current and retired first division players, current second division players and club presidents and managers,” the force said in a statement.
“The operation has established that those under investigation made deals with different players to ‘fix’ at least three games in the first, second and third divisions.”
According to The Guardian, the statement said that an attempt to fix a division three game had proved unsuccessful which led to players making up their losses by throwing another game. Police also added that a second division game had seen a surge in betting, in fact 14 times the normal amount of money wagered.
The national police said the operation – carried out by Europol, the General Directorate of Gaming and La Liga – had established a familiar pattern.
Matches were selected and efforts made to generate the most money by agreeing combined bets on half-time results or the number of corners taken. Members of the football teams were then approached.
“Once the match-fixing had been accepted, payment was made – always in cash and in two instalments; one before the game and once the agreed result had been achieved,” the police statement said.
La Liga Suspicions
La Liga reported their suspicions last year after a division two match between Sociedad Deportiva Huesca and Gimnástic de Tarragona and after another football match between Huesca and Nastic, sources have confirmed that complaints were filed.
They have also filed nine illegal betting complaints to the judicial police during the 2018-2019 season and drawn 18 non-professional matches to the attention of the General Directorate of Gaming for possible action.
According to the Diario de Ibiza, Leeds player Samu Sáiz who is currently on loan to Getafe, was arrested while holidaying in Ibiza with his family in Santa Eulalia. After giving his statement to the police he was released. He denies any involvement with illegal gambling and match fixing.
Others arrested include Agustín Lasaosa, president of SD Huesca and ‘several’ players including Raúl Bravo, former Real Madrid player.