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Mon, 20 Jan 2020 20:28 GMT

Spanish Court Acquits 36 Players in Match-Fixing Case


7Dnews London

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 21:08 GMT

A Spanish court acquitted 36 players of alleged wrongdoing Monday, December 9th in a high-profile match-fixing case connected to a 2011 game between Real Zaragoza and Levante.

The court dismissed allegations the match had been fixed, due to a lack of evidence, and decided to clear over 40 people accused of sporting corruption, AFP reported.  

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera, former Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez, and Mexican coach Javier Aguirre, all playing for Zaragoza at the time, were involved in the case that began in September 2019. 

The match on the final day of the season was won 2-1 by Zaragoza, which spared the club from relegation to the second division. 

The result was a cause for investigation by Spain's anti-corruption prosecutors' office over suspect bribery to players and coaches. 

There were suspicions that Zaragoza deposited €965,000 ($1 million) in the bank accounts of some of their players and coaching staff so that they could bribe Levante players to deliberately lose the game. 

At the end of the trial, however, only ex-Zaragoza president Agapito Iglesias and former financial director Javier Porquera were proven guilty of fraud, according to the Saudi Gazette. 

Both received sentences of 15 months in jail, but they may not face prison because sentences of up to two years are generally not enforced in Spain for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes.