Match-fixing scandal shocks Spanish football

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Madrid, April 4 (IANS) Spanish football has been rocked by a staggering match-fixing scandal in a game held at the weekend between Barcelona B and Eldense.

Sunday’s match in the Segunda B (the third tier of the Spanish football structure) ended with the Barcelona youngsters, who are top of the league, defeat their rivals, who are in last place, reports Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

A win for Barcelona was expected, but the 12-0 final score in a match they had led 8-0 at half-time most certainly wasn’t.

The final whistle had barely blown when one of the Eldense players, Cheikh Saad publicly denounced that some of his companions had deliberately thrown the game, although he also insisted that Barcelona had not been behind the scandal, which is thought to have been provoked by an international match-fixing ring “based in Asia”.

“I don’t know what the final score was meant to be, but it was commented that it had to be 8-0 at half time,” said Cheikh in the Spanish media.

“Barcelona had nothing to do with it, their players took the chances that they had to score and that is exactly what they have to do,” he said. He added that he had been “threatened” not to say anything.

Meanwhile, David Aguillar, the President of the Eldense temporary Board of Directors, confirmed that something illegal had taken place.

“I started to have doubts after we played Cornella on March 19, I saw that something strange was going on,” said Aguillar in the Spanish media.

“This is a cannon that has just had the fuse lit and it isn’t going to stop until it explodes. I don’t even trust my own shadow at the moment,” added the President of the 96-year-old club.

Meanwhile, Monday saw some of the Eldense players questioned at a police station and the club has announced the sacking of 12 of them, including the four main suspects for throwing Sunday’s game.

Eldense play Sabadell in their next game, which Aguillar insists will take place, but it will now take place under the watchful eye of the Spanish football league LFP and the police.

–IANS

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