Spanish police make arrests over football match-fixing

28 May 2019

Spanish police have made a series of arrests over alleged match-fixing activities in the country’s top two divisions of club football, with current players among those caught up in the scandal.

The police have so far arrested 11 people in connection with the case, dubbed ‘Operación Oikos’, including active and retired players from the top-tier La Liga competition and second-tier Segunda Division, as well as club presidents and managers.

La Liga has also confirmed the news, praising the police for the “dismantling of an organised group that has been conducting a criminal activity dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of football matches in the national territory”.

Although neither La Liga nor the police have officially disclosed the identity of any of the individuals that have been arrested, Spanish new agency EFE, citing police sources, has named former Real Madrid defender Raul Bravo as one of the 11. Officials from SD Huesca, a team relegated from La Liga at the end of the 2018-19 seaon, are among those also arrested, according to EFE.

La Liga confirmed that SD Huesca is involved with the case, with its game against Gimnástic de Tarragona towards the end of the 2017-18 season flagged by the league as a result of suspicious betting activity.  

In addition, La Liga has said that it filed a total of nine complaints with the police in relation to match-fixing during the 2018-19 season, in addition to 18 reports related to non-professional football in the country.

“This police operation shows that the integrity protection systems implemented by LaLiga for five seasons, to protect the integrity of all Spanish football competitions, have been effective in detecting and reporting allegedly manipulated football matches; all of which has been able to serve as base and support for the development of the investigations carried out by the National Police,” La Liga said.

The case continues.