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Operation Oikos: Arrests for match-fixing in Spain (UPDATED)

Not exactly the publicity La Liga wants right now.

Girona FC v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga
Fernandez, one of the players accused.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

UPDATE: Supposedly some of the cellphone conversations that were tapped refer to the Getafe-Villarreal match, the last one of last season. It’s confusing because the Valladolid-Valencia match had been referenced as well. If the ringleaders were paying some Villarreal players to lose to Getafe, it didn’t work, as the match ended in a draw. And if their goal was to get Getafe a win in that match, then they wouldn’t have been trying to get Valencia a win in their match as well, would they? I’m confused.

EPM article here on the club’s reaction. If you want to read my review of that Getafe match, it’s here. Worth remembering that we played Dani Raba and Andrés (both did well), Funes Mori and Javi Fuego (both of whom didn’t), and Alfonso Pedraza. Gerard came on for Carlos Bacca and scored the late equalizer from a rebound off a Pedraza shot.

This morning’s twitter is all aflame with news of arrests for match-fixing in Spain. This is something that usually gets suspected when promotion/relegation issues are at stake (it certainly was the year we were relegated) but nothing gets done about it. When league president Tebas took office he said something would be done, but nothing has been.

Today, however, might be different, because “Operation Oikos” has rounded up nine people (two other warrants are in process) including non-players and retired players, and accuses them of working together to rig matches in at least the Segunda and below, and possibly the Primera as well.

It’s understood that the match that sparked the investigation was a Segunda match late last season between Huesca (already promoted) and Nastic Tarragona, which ended with a 1-0 away win. Here is what we know about the people arrested so far:

The accused ringleader is Raul Bravo, who played last for Cordoba in the 2013-14 season;

Players arrested include Borja Fernandez, who had announced his retirement from Valladolid at age 38; he was actually planning to meet with owner Ronaldo to discuss a non-playing role at Valladolid when he was detained;

Iñigo López, current player at Deportivo La Coruña (played for Huesca in the 2017-18 season);

Carlos Aranda, retired since 2015 (he was with Zaragoza in the 2011-12 season, incidentally, though there is no suggestion this investigation goes back that far);

others arrested include the Huesca club president and the head of the medical staff of Huesca.

MARCA is claiming Primera matches were involved and Antena 3 has named Valladolid-Valencia (last match of this season) as among them, which has provoked an angry denial from Valencia. More news when we get it.