Exclusive: Spanish turn blind eye as match-fixing rips through lower leagues

By Paul Nicholson

December 21 – Spanish football’s lower divisions are showing a disturbing level of betting-related fixed matches. What is more concerning is that neither the Spanish federation (RFEF) or LaLiga are showing any signs of taking action to stop the match-fixers, clubs or players, despite having been made aware of the issues.

Sources have given Insideworldfootball a list of more than 10 matches in the January to December 2017 period conducted by Sportradar where there are highly suspicious betting patterns.

The matches all take place in the third and fourth tiers of the Spanish leagues which globally account for an estimated betting market of about €580 million per season.

This is a huge amount and far exceeds the revenues generated by clubs in these leagues, many of whom are struggling to pay their players. Betting coverage of these leagues is impressively wide, especially in the Asian markets. The matches that have been detailed to Insideworldfootball may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Segunda B – the third tier of Spanish football played in four regional leagues with about 1,500 matches in total – sees estimated betting volumes of about €200,000 per match, with betting markets being made on pretty much every game played. A season total of about €300 million.

Tercera Division – the fourth tier of the Spanish game with over 7,000 games played – has estimated betting volumes of about €110,000 per match. Of these matches there are betting markets for about 2,500 and a total volume of about €280 million.

Match data is unlicensed, unregulated and with no formal or adequate monitoring. The Spanish football authorities have taken few steps to tackle the phenomena.

Of the matches identified to Insideworldfootball (four in Seconda B and nine in the Tercera), five of them followed very similar betting patterns.

Betting volumes were highest on the final result of matches and on specific numbers of goals. The matches showed penalties being awarded following a spike in betting volumes.

One Spanish source close to the leagues, who asked not be named, said that “this is a disaster for the integrity of Spanish football. We are already caught up in corruption scandals at home and internationally (referring to the arrest of RFEF president Angel Maria Villar) and now it seems criminals are destroying the heart of our game.”

Confronted with the findings and asked whether there could be any doubt that the matches were fixed, Andreas Krannich, managing director of Sportradar Integrity Services which monitors matches for a growing number of federations and confederations worldwide, said: “In general we do not comment publically on match fixing allegations and we do not know who leaked this information. But yes, this is one of our reports. To prevent a misunderstanding we do not monitor Spanish 3rd and 4th division football on a regular basis. And what we detected is very concerning. It is criminal activity.”


Spain’s 2017 list of match-fixing shame

Segunda B

CF Villarreal B vs. Club Deportivo Eldense, 18/02/2017

FT 4:0 (HT 2:0)

Betting on Eldense  losing by two goals and three to four goals to be scored in total. A penalty was awarded in 87th minute

CD Atletico Baleares vs. Club Deportivo Eldense, 05/03/2017

FT 5:0 (HT 2:0)

Betting on Eldense losing by 3 or 4 goals. The third goal was scored after a 67th minute penalty

UD Cornella vs. Club Deportivo Eldense, 19/03/2017

FT 3:1 (HT 3:0)

Betting on at least three goals. The first three goals all came via penalties. David Aguilar, president of Club Deportivo Eldense’s managing board said he suspected manipulation

Athletic Bilbao B vs. CD Vitoria, 01/11/2017

FT 1:0 (HT 1:0)

Betting on Vitoria to lose the first half and for at least one goal to be scored in the first half. A penalty was awarded and scored in the closing minutes of the first half

Tercera Division

CD Alcala vs. CD Guadalcacin, 14/05/2017

FT 2:2 (HT 0:1)

Alcala needed one point to stay in the division. Betting was on Alealz to avoid defeat as soon as CD Guadalcacin took a 0:1 lead  and there to be four goal or more in the match (at 0:1, 1:1 and 2:1)

UD San Fernando vs. CD El Cotillo, 10/09/2017

FT 6:0 (HT 3:0)

Very strong betting on Cortillo to lose by 2 goals as soon as the match kicked off. Further betting throughout the match for Cotillo to lose by at least four (at 2:0), five (at 3:0) and six goals (at 4:0 and 5:0) and for at least three, five and six goals to be scored in the match;

UB Lebrijana vs. CD Alcala, 01/10/2017

FT 3:0 (HT 2:0)

Betting on Alcala to lose first half and by 3 goals in total and for them to loose the match by at least three goals and there to be at least 3 goals in the match. CD Cieza vs. CF Castillo Huercal Overa  (Group 13), 01/11/2017

FT 2:0 (HT 1:0)

Betting on Huercal Over to lose by at least 2 goals

CD Becerril vs. CD Virgen Del Camino, 01/11/2017

FT 1:2 (HT 0:2)

Betting on at least 3 goals in total

El Palo vs. UD San Pedro, 19/11/2017

FT 3:0 (HT 1:0)

Betting on three or more goals to be scored

D Alcala vs. CD Gerena, 19/11/2017

FT 0:2 (HT 0:0)

Betting on two or more goals to be scored in total

Estrella CF vs. Union Puerto Del Rosario, 26/11/2017

FT 0:0 (HT 0:0)

Failed fix. Betting on Union to lose first half and for 1 goal in first half

El Palo vs. CD Huetor Vega, 02/12/2017

FT 3:2 (HT 1:0)

Betting on at least 4/5 goals. 3rd goal was a penalty, 4th goal was an own goal. Vega received a red card in 80th minute.

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