Football ‘match fixing’ in Spain: Players paid premium by rival team to WIN game

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Nine people have been arrested for alleged match-fixing in Spain. 
National Police and EUROPOL, in a joint investigation, made the arrests this morning (November 26) during the second phase of operation OIKOS. 

The detained people are accused of “private corruption”, unfair administration and money laundering linked to the payment of bribes linked to the promotion play-offs to the Spanish first division. 

During the first phase of the operation, carried out last May, the police found several handwritten sheets that contained details of the collection, distribution, return and delivery of funds to fix a match in the second division. 

Police said in a statement that “after analysing the documentation, investigators found that a football club handed over cash to the staff of another team after their victory in a game held in June 2017.” 

This is thought to be a reference to Catalan club Reus Deportiu who beat Real Vallolidad 2-0 on the penultimate day of the 2016-2017 season. 

It is alleged that players from the winning team were then paid a ‘premium’ by SD Huesca as it ensured the latter team a spot in the play offs. 

This is the first time that so-called ‘third party premiums’ have been judicially investigated. Reus, who allegedly received it, did not have anything to play for in that game, while Real Vallolidad and SAD Huesca both had a chance of the play offs. 

Reus won 2-0 when the odds for that match were 5-1 against them. Huesca finished the league in sixth position on goal difference over Vallolidad, so they played the promotion phase. 

Huesca lost in the semifinals against Getafe. 

Among those arrested are active players who played for Reus and directors of Huesca, some of them already arrested in the first phase of Operation Oikos. 

One of the first to be arrested was Francisco Javier Pichu Atienza, who currently plays for Real Zaragoza and in 2017 was a player of Reus.  

Iñigo López, former player of Deportivo de La Coruña, Huesca and Granada, among others, has also been arrested. 



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Written by

Dilip Kuner

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