Former club officials and players at Osasuna and Real Betis jailed for matchfixing

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April 24 – In a landmark ruling, nine former executives, players, and businessmen including five former directors of Osasuna and two ex-Real Betis players have been handed prison sentences after being found guilty of being involved in match-fixing – the first time ever that  sporting corruption has led to jail terms in Spain.

Former Osasuna executive Ángel Vizcay received the longest sentence of eight years and eight months for charges including misappropriation of funds, falsification of accounts and sporting corruption.

Ex-Osasuna president Miguel Archanco was sentenced to six years and eight months while former Osasuna vice-president Juan Antonio Pascual got  six years and six months.  Former Betis players Antonio Amaya and Xavi Torres were handed sentences of one year each. Two real estate agents were also convicted for falsifying documents and were given prison sentences of nine months.

The investigation focused on Osasuna rigging matches over two seasons in an attempt to avoid relegation. In January Vizcay  testified that  payments were made to try to keep the club 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.

Osasuna escaped relegation in 2013, but not in 2014.  In 2013 they finished 16th but despite winning 2-1 against Betis in the final round of games in the 2013-14 campaign finished 18th.

Those found guilty will have to compensate Osasuna €2.34m, which is the amount of funds that came out from the club accounts irregularly during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns.

Osasuna gained promotion back to La Liga in May 2019 and are currently 13th in the table after 20 games played.

All the sentences can be appealed.

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