Club news


03 Oct 2014
Real Zaragoza and Levante UD are in a middle of a mess after the Spanish authorities began to investigate a payment of a million euros in order to win a game and clinch the salvation on the season 2010/11. Depor suffered the relegation that year.

Since a while ago the Spanish Police and the Anticorruption Prosecutor (AP) began an investigation involving payments to football players in order to secure victories that would lead to important results. One of the main cases is what happened on the season 2010/11.

On the last matchday of that campaign, Depor needed to defeat Valencia CF in order to secure the permanence at Primera División, while other clubs involved in the fight needed a defeat by the Galicians and also to win their games. One of the clubs involved in the drama was Real Zaragoza, team that needed to defeat Levante UD.

It all happened on May 21, 2011. Depor were losing at the Riazor 0-1 before Valencia CF and Real Zaragoza clinched a 1-2 win at the Ciutat de Valencia. The result pushed the Galicians to Segunda División. There were many rumours about possible secret agreements to secure the survival of Los Maños

Now, after all the comments and the suspicions of the LFP, the AP found vital evidence: Real Zaragoza paid to Levante’s players in order to lose the game and they did through their own players. The AP found out that Real Zaragoza used their bank account to transfer around one million euros to at least ten of their players, later these men made the payments to Levante’s players; apparently eight players at the Valencian team were bribed. According to newspaper El Confidencial there are several proofs in the case and the source reported that “the evidence is so overwhelming that the defense will be difficult to sustain.”

And on this week several actors in this match-fixing scandal were subpoenaed to testify. Among them the former president and ex-owner of Real Zaragoza, Agapito Iglesias, he denied any participation in a match-fixing operation.

More revealing was the declaration of Gabi, the former captain of Atlético Madrid was living his last year at Real Zaragoza. Before that game he had secured a four-year deal with the Madrilenians and, according to newspaper El Mundo he admitted his participation defending his position assuring that he “had nothing to win with the permanence of Real Zaragoza as he already had a deal with Atlético.”

Gabi on Thursday after declaring before the judge

Gabi scored both goals in the 2-1 victory over Levante that secured the permanence of Zaragoza

El Mundo went beyond that and reported that Gabi admitted before a judge that he received €85,000 from Agapito Iglesias, though later he denied to make any contact with a Levante’s player, instead the midfielder assured that he gave back the money to the club, though he didn’t explain why. He declared that the money was part of a bonus that was later returned to Zaragoza. “I just did what Agapito told me to do.” said Gabi according to el Mundo. He was the scorer of both goals in the victory of Los Maños.

Other ex-players of Real Zaragoza that were subpoenaed to testify in the case are Diogo, Obradovic, Jorge López and Braulio, also former coach Javier Aguirre. It isn’t clear what kind of sanction will the LFP order in case of proving the case, but in Spain there are laws against fixing results that could lead to four or six years in jail.

According to the reports the prosecution will present a demand on next week, the LFP will present their own accusation and there are other parties, like Deportivo, that are studying to present a demand; in the case of the Galicians they lost money with the relegation of the club and are following the developments.

On Thursday, during a public event in which the LFP was presenting a new sponsor –ironically a betting company- Javier Tebas, president of la liga, assured that they are ready to present their case, "If the prosecution presents a grievance, then La Liga will present their own case as private prosecutor to seek for a dignified competition The real truth is approaching the legal truth in Spanish football.”

Meanwhile, Albert Lopo, who suffered the relegation with Depor that year, told to reporters that, “The relegation is something that no one will remove from us, of course, but if there was something dirty by these two teams then they would have to act as I hope they will. If you behave like this then they should feel dirty inside. That person should not be playing a professional sport like this. If you act like that then it’s harmful, both to him personally and to the other teams that suffered with this. If they are declared guilty, then that team should receive the maximum punishment."




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