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Match-fixing

Seven Valladolid players paid to fix match against Valencia - El Mundo

Seven Valladolid players paid to fix match against Valencia - El Mundo

EL PAÍS

According to transcripts of phone-tapped conversations seen by the Spanish daily, two former players agreed to fix the result of Valladolid - Valencia in order to bet on the match.

According to Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo, the Operación Oikos investigation into match-fixing in Spain recorded telephone conversations of one of those supposedly involved, Carlos Aranda, in which the former player says "seven Valladolid jugadores have been paid off".

The investigation's telephone-tapping, according to El Mundo, reveals plans to fix the result of the game on 18 May 2019 between Valladolid and Valencia, which would decide the final Champions League spot in LaLiga, with Valencia qualifying for the Champions League if they took all three points - they won the game 0-2. Carlos Aranda and other former player Raúl Bravo fixed the result with part of the Valladolid squad, according to the investigating judge.

Valencia to score in both halves against Valladolid

In one of the conversations recorded by the Spanish Police's Criminal Investigation Department, Carlos Aranda says he wants Valencia to be win both the first and second halves, according to the transcription which El Mundo has had access to. Aranda went on to explain "They need to score two goals in the two halves, winning both the first half and the second... Look, you know what it is, nobody can find out, but you know what it is. Nobody. Nobody is nobody, nobody, not your friends, nobody". Valencia won the game 2-0, with Carlos Soler scoring in the first half and Rodirgo in the second.

Aranda is said to have been so confident of achieving the desired result that he called an employee in a betting shop he owns in Malaga to ask them to bet on 2-0. "Bet 10,000 and you'll win 20,000", he is alleged to have said.

In total the investigation are said to have six months of phone tapping covering the main parties alleged to be involved in the match-fixing ring. Raúl Bravo's phone, according to the police, was harder to tap, as his calls were encrypted and he changed his phone on a regular basis.

Meeting of Valladolid players

El Mundo explains that the investigators also have proof of a meeting between Borja Fernández, at that time captain of Valladolid who retired after the game against Valencia, and various players in the Valladolid squad at the house of one of them, Sergio Got Gallardo, known as Keko, to coordinate fixing the match against Valencia. According to the El Mundo journalists who wrote the article, the organisers of the match-fixing discussed paying the Valladolid captain 50,000 euros for his work.

Manuel Torres | Operation Oikos

Manuel Torres | Operation Oikos

For his part, Borja Fernández spoke to Spanish radio station SER and said that the meeting was a barbecue at Keko's house and that three of the footballers there didn't even play in the game. He also told journalist Isaac Fouto that the meeting at Keko's house was simply a barbecue with families, in honour of his retirement and that it was in no way a secret meeting.

Carlos Aranda and Raúl Bravo are out on bail, having left the Zuera prison in Zaragoza. The Huesca president, Agustín Lasaosa and the former Huesca player Íñigo López are in the same situation, with investigators suspecting that they acted as intermediaries between players and the match-fixing ring. The investigation started on the basis of a complaint from LaLiga into the match between Huesca and Nàstic in 2018.