Current and Former Top Two Divisions Footballers Arrested by the Spanish Police over La Liga Match-Fixing

Top two division football players were arrested by the Spanish police under the allegations to have fixed matches in La Liga that took place in May 2018.

Both former and current footballers, as reported by the Spanish league, formed an organised criminal group, and were involved in last year’s La Liga match-fixing.

 The Match-Fixing

As Spanish police report, there will be 11 arrests, among them ex and current first division players, as well as current second division managers, club presidents and players. They suspect that a match-fixing ring was formed, which made deals with a number of players to fix at least three games in the third, second and first divisions. The attempt to fix the matches failed, leading the players who were supposed to fix them to make up for the losses by fixing another game.

The suspicions arose when a second division game saw a surge in betting, with more than 14x the normal amount of cash being wagered. The match in question was Sociedad Deportiva Huesca vs. Gimnastic de Tarragona last May.

Spanish media states that among those arrested were the Huesca president Augstin Lasaosa and the former Spain and Real Madrid player Raul Bravo. Huesca’s lawyer has already confirmed that various people at the club have been arrested on a warrant issued by the local court.

The police said that the operation had established a familiar pattern. They would first select matches and place combined bets on the number of corners or half-time results. Then, they would approach the footballers to arrange the match-fixing. The payments were always made in cash, one instalment before the match and another one after the agreed result had been delivered.

 La Liga de Futbol Profesional’s Statement

La Liga spokesman said they were the ones that reported the suspicions over the match in May 2018 to the police, and praised the national police’s work on the matter. La Liga said that the police’s work is proof that anti-fixing measures which were introduced five seasons ago were indeed working.

Thanking the police for the extraordinary work they did breaking up the organised match-fixing ring that had been engaged in unlawful activities just to obtain more money by fixing matches in Spanish football, La Liga added that they were doing all they can to stop these kinds of events. 

Namely, they have filed 9 illegal betting complaints about season 2018-2019 to the judicial police and drawn 18 non-professional games to the General Directorate of Gaming for further investigation.