Further match fixing scandal for Spanish football

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Madrid, Feb 19 (IANS) Spanish football looks set to be thrown into another match-fixing scandal after a former general manager of Osasuna football club admitted that the club had offered money to players from other clubs to fix matches.

Angel Vizcay was Wednesday reported to have confirmed in a videotaped confession to the Spanish Football League (LFP) that, among other things, the former president of the club, Miguel Archanco, offered two Real Betis players 250,000 euros for them to beat Valladolid. He also offered the players to lose against Osasuna seven days later, reports Xinhua.

The events took place at the end of last season with Betis already relegated to the Spanish second division, (Liga Adelante) and Osasuna and Valladolid battling (unsuccessfully as it turned out) to avoid the drop in La Liga.

The penultimate game of the season between Espanyol and Osasuna is also being investigated by the LFP with Osasuna also under suspicion of having paid money to Espanyol players for it to end in a 1-1 draw.

The LFP had become suspicious of the result, which gave Osasuna (from the town of Pamplona) a chance of avoiding relegation in the last game of the season, after discovering the existence of a bet taken in a foreign country to the value of 240,000 euros that the match would end in a draw.

After Archando and his directors resigned at the end of last season, the new Osasuna board communicated to the LFP the unjustified movement of a total of 2.4 million euros out of the club.

“I am willing to collaborate with the League and for the good of Osasuna,” said Vizcay on radio show ‘El Larguero’.

This news is a further blow to the credibility of Spanish football, which was rocked earlier this season by news of an investigation regarding presumed match fixing of Zaragoza’s 2-1 win away to Levante, which helped them avoid relegation in the 2010-11 season.

A total of 41 people, including all of the players involved in this game, as well as the respective coaches are set to appear in court March 5 to answer questions over what happened.

Javier Aguirre, who was sacked as the coach of the Japanese national team as a result of the allegations, was Zaragoza coach at the time and by coincidence he was coach of Espanyol last season.

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