Spanish Court Clears 36 Players In Match-fixing Case

Football News

A Spanish court cleared 36 players of wrongdoing Monday in a high-profile match-fixing case related to a 2011 game between Real Zaragoza and Levante

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Updated On:
Spanish

A Spanish court cleared 36 players of wrongdoing Monday in a high-profile match-fixing case related to a 2011 game between Real Zaragoza and Levante. The judge dismissed allegations the match had been fixed, citing a lack of evidence, and cleared over 40 people accused of sporting corruption. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera, Mexican coach Javier Aguirre, and former Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez, all at Zaragoza at the time, were among the defendants in a trial that began in September.

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The match on the final day of the season was won 2-1 by Zaragoza which spared the club from relegation to the second division. But it triggered an investigation by Spain's anti-corruption prosecutors' office over suspect payments to playing staff and coaches. Prosecutors suspected Zaragoza deposited 965,000 euros ($1 million) in the bank accounts of some of their players and coaching staff so that they, in turn, could bribe Levante players to deliberately lose the game.

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However, at the end of the trial, only ex-Zaragoza president Agapito Iglesias and his former financial director Javier Porquera were convicted of fraud. They were given 15-month jail terms although are unlikely to face prison as sentences of up to two years are generally not enforced in Spain for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes. An investigating judge had shelved the long-running probe into the match in 2017 but the case was reopened following an appeal by state prosecutors, the Spanish League and Deportivo La Coruna, the club relegated as a result of Zaragoza's win. 

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