Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Two professional footballers are among nine people that have been detained for their presumed involvement in the match-fixing case in Spanish football involving former Leeds United star Raul Bravo.
Among those detained are former Deportivo La Coruna defender Inigo Lopez, 37, and Real Zaragoza central defender Francisco Javier ‘Pichu’ Atienza Valverde, 29.
In a statement released earlier today (Tuesday), the Spanish National Police said: “The analysis of documents intervened in the first phase has helped uncover an operation for the appropriation, distribution, reimbursement and delivery of funds to condition the results of a match from Second Division Football.
“The National Police and EUROPOL have detained nine people in the second phase of the joint investigation in the OIKOS operation this morning.
“The people, who were arrested for their presumed involvement in crimes of corruption between individuals, dishonest administration and laundering of capital, are linked to the payment of a bonus to a third-party on behalf of another football club with the aim of qualifying for the play-offs to gain promotion to the Football First Division of the Spanish League.”
The report went on to say: “Investigators have verified a football club paid cash to the squad of another club after their victory in a match played in June 2017, with the aim of facilitating their place in the last position in the playoff to gain promotion to the Football First Division.”
The statement finished by saying “the investigation remains open and has been declared SECRET” however it is unclear if more people are suspected of participating in the operation.
The OIKOS operation is an investigation by Spanish authorities on match-fixing which has included names like Samuel Saiz, 28, who was on-loan from Leeds United to Getafe at the time of his arrest, Raul Bravo, 38, who spent six months in 2003 on-loan at Leeds United, retired forward Carlos Aranda, 39, and Huesca President Agustin Lasaosa, 60.
In a previous report, police said bets were made “trying to ‘agree on’ combined bets – partial results, final results and corners – which would allow them to notably increase the winning odds”.
The police said a member of one of the teams, “preferably one of the captains”, would then be approached using a “trial-and-error” approach to recruit them into the scheme. Once the player was recruited, the payments were made in cash in two stages, one before the match and one after.
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