Leeds United footballer Samuel Saiz ‘investigated as part of match-fixing investigation’ after Spanish police raid Huesca

Several players in Spain have been detained and accused of being part of a criminal organisation responsible for match-fixing across the first and second divisions

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 28 May 2019 12:13 BST
Leeds United forward Samuel Saiz has been arrested as part of a match-fixing investigation in Spain
Leeds United forward Samuel Saiz has been arrested as part of a match-fixing investigation in Spain (Getty)

A number of first and second division footballers have been arrested in Spain over suspicions of forming a criminal organisation dedicated to match fixing, according to Spanish reports.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Tuesday that Leeds United forward Samuel Saiz is one of those individuals detained, having spent the season on loan with La Liga side Getafe.

However, Spanish radio station COPE claims that while Saiz is being investigated, he has not been formally arrested by police.

Asked about the report, a spokeswoman for the Spanish police confirmed that there was an open investigation though did not give any details.

"The police action follows complaints about possible match-fixing in a May 2018 match from La Liga to the Spanish authorities," said a La Liga spokesman.

Samuel Saiz has spent the season on loan with Getafe (Getty)

La Liga reported eight possible cases of match-fixing to police, which led to the morning raids and arrests.

"During the 2018/19 season La Liga has filed eight complaints with the general commissioner of the judicial police for alleged acts related to match-fixing in lower divisions of Spanish football and low-profile friendlies played between foreign clubs in Spain," said a La Liga statement.

"We have also sent alerts to the general directorate of gaming on 18 football matches for possible identification and sanction of players from lower divisions who could have bet on their competition.

Huesca's lawyer Pedro Camarero talks to journalists in front of a police vehicle outside the club's headquarters (EPA)

"We thank the police for the extraordinary work done to dismantle what appears to be an organised criminal group dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of football matches.

"This police operation demonstrates the effectiveness of integrity protection systems implemented by La Liga to protect the cleanliness of all competitions in Spanish football.

"La Liga continues to fight to eradicate any scourge against fair play in Spanish football."

According to El Pais, several current footballers were detained by Spanish officials on Tuesday. The report also claims that former Real Madrid defender Raul Bravo has been allegedly identified as being at the head of the criminal organisation.

Other players to have been arrested includes Deportivo La Coruna’s Inigo Lopez Monatana, recently-retired Borja Fernandez and former striker Carlos Aranda.

Agustrin Lasaosa, president of relegated La Liga side Huesca, and Juan Carlos Galindo Lanuza, head of the club’s medical team, have also been detained.

Police raided the Huesca training base early on Tuesday and all of those detained have accused of being part of the alleged criminal organisation, corruption and money laundering.

Police raided Huesca around 8.30am on Tuesday morning (EPA)

The raid started at 8:30am local time, with Spanish state broadcaster TVE claiming that 11 individuals had been arrested.

A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: “I can confirm a police operation against match-fixing is ongoing.

“I cannot confirm any of the names of the detainees that are circulating in the Spanish press at this moment in time.

“That is because the operation is still ongoing.”

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