Spanish defender Inigo Lopez has claimed his former side Huesca lost a match “because we had a gentleman’s agreement” after he was arrested in the match-fixing scandal.
Deportivo La Coruna defender Inigo Lopez made the comments in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo two weeks after he was arrested on suspicion of being the intermediary in the ‘Operation Oikos’ match-fixing scandal.
The former Huesca defender was asked if the club’s former doctor Juan Carlos Galindo was correct in saying there had been a “gentleman’s agreement” in the changing room to lose a match last season against Nastic, and if so, what kind of pact it was.
Lopez said: “The type which has always existed in football. In the last few matches (of the season) you usually look at the calendar and you speak, because you know people. It’s not that we met up or stayed in a place. It was simply said: ‘Hey, let’s not screw each other over for those who need the points.’
“Anyone who has played football and has been in that world knows that this has existed for many years before us. What happened is that the incident with the bets has inflated everything.”
Huesca’s match against Nastic came after the former club had been guaranteed promotion and the latter were fighting for survival in Spain’s second flight.
When asked how the pact was reached, Lopez, 36, said: “In the first match, in Tarragona. I wasn’t called up, like in the second, but it was known in the changing rooms. I was told that there had been contact and not to do anything stupid.”
Lopez said the Huesca players “lowered our intensity, simple and plain. We didn’t go out fighting”.
However, the defender denies knowing anything about his teammates having placed bets on the match, but added that “we saw that the bets were very low in our favour when according to the standings it should have been the opposite”.
The Spaniard has admitted to placing bets on matches, but said “never on teams in my division”, saying the police suspected him of being an intermediary in the alleged match-fixing scheme because of his relationship with Carlos Aranda.
He said: “Carlos Aranda called me, he was a teammate of mine. He played together for six months and we had a kind of relationship. He asked me to ask Huesca for money they owed him, 100,000 EUR. I spoke to (Huesca president) Agustin (Lasaosa).”
Lopez says he did not know where the debt came from and added that “the president told me to tell stay calm and that he would pay him, after that, I forgot about it”.
When asked if he had ever been paid “bonuses” from third parties for winning, he said he had, but he did not see it as “bad for winning”. When asked who paid the money, he said: “They came from other teams. Through trusted people who met with someone close to the players.”
Reports had named some of those detained in the scandal as Samuel Saiz, 28, who was on-loan from Leeds United to Getafe, Raul Bravo, 38, who spent six months in 2003 on-loan at Leeds United, Borja Fernandez, 38, who played for Real Madrid and retired this month from Valladolid, and retired forward Carlos Aranda, 38.
Huesca president Agustin Lasaosa and the club’s head of medical services Juan Carlos Galindo Lanuza were also detained, according to reports.
All those detained were reportedly accused of belonging to a criminal organisation, corruption and money laundering.
The investigation is ongoing.