January 22 – Top-flight Spanish club Osasuna rigged matches over two seasons in an attempt to avoid relegation, a court heard on Tuesday in the latest match-fixing revelations to strike at the heart of European football.
Former director Ángel Vizcay told a match-fixing trial that the payments were made to try to keep Osasuna in the first division both in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
He said separate payments of €150,000 were made to players of Real Betis and Valladolid as incentive to beat his team, while €400,000 were given to Getafe players to lose.
The following season, he said €400,000 were paid to already-relegated Betis to win a match against an Osasuna rival, in addition to €250,000 to lose against Osasuna. Another €250,000 were secretly handed to Espanyol to secure a draw.
Osasuna escaped relegation in 2013, but not in 2014.
The match-fixing probe began after Vizcay’s confession to the Spanish league. He was one of 11 people charged in what is the second high-profile match-fixing trial in Spain in recent months.
In December, more than 40 people were cleared of wrongdoing after being accused of fixing the Spanish league game between Levante and Zaragoza at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Among those acquitted was former México coach Javier Aguirre. Two former Zaragoza officials were convicted of fraud and given a 15-month prison sentence.
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