Footballers in Spain’s first division arrested over match-fixing allegations

Former Real Madrid footballer Raul Bravo is among a number of first and second division players and officials who have been arrested in Spain over match-fixing allegations.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that Bravo is the suspected “ringleader” of the operation.

In a statement, Spanish police said that Operation Oikos involved nine raids across the country and an expected 11 arrests.

The police added: “Among those to be detained are both active and retired players from the first division, players active in the second division and presidents and directors of a club.

“The investigation has established that those under investigation came to arrangements with different players to ‘fix’ at least three games in the first, second and third divisions.”

They also confirmed that in a second division match in May 2018, more than 14 times the usual amount was bet on a game in that league, but stopped short of saying which one.

A La Liga spokesman said: “Today’s police action follows a complaint filed by La Liga with the Spanish authorities about possible match-fixing in a May 2018 match.

“We want to thank the national police for the extraordinary work done to dismantle what appears to be an organised criminal group dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of football matches.”

The league explained that it passed information to the police after detecting possible match-fixing, adding: “La Liga continues to fight to eradicate any scourge against fair play in Spanish football.”

A lawyer for the club Huesca, who have been relegated from La Liga, confirmed that various people from the club had been detained on a warrant issued by the local court in the town, but did not name those detained.

The lawyer added: “We have not been able to speak to the president yet. However he will be able to give opportune explanations in due course.

“Internally within the club we are not worried and are at the disposal of whatever the courts request of us. For now, we do not know how things will develop.”


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