Spanish police probe Leeds United forward Samuel Saiz on suspicion of La Liga match-fixing as 11 are arrested – including ‘ringleader’ ex-Real Madrid star Raul Bravo
- Spanish police have reportedly arrested members of a criminal betting ring
- Samuel Saiz, on loan at Getafe from Leeds, is believed to be under investigation
- Ex-Real Madrid defender Raul Bravo is alleged to have been the ringleader
- The police operation is said to have been sparked by a second division match
- Home side Huesca, who had already been promoted to La Liga, lost 1-0 to Nastic, who were fighting to stay in the second division at the time
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police has confirmed an operation is ‘ongoing’ with former Real Madrid player Raul Bravo also said to have been held.
He has been described as the suspected ringleader of a criminal organisation dedicated to gambling-motivated match-fixing of Spanish first and second division games.
Leeds’ Samuel Saiz is reportedly under investigation over alleged match fixing in La Liga
Former Real Madrid star Raul Bravo is another of the players believed to have been arrested
Tuesday morning’s police operation is said to have been sparked by a second division match last season between Huesca and Nastic de Tarragona.
Home side Huesca, who had already been promoted to La Liga, lost 1-0 to Nastic, who were fighting to stay in the second division.
Nigerian Ikechukwu Uche scored the only goal of the game in May last year in the 72nd minute.
Around 30 betting agencies and websites are said to have suspended betting after detecting an alarming rise in bets on a 0-0 draw at half-time and an away team victory at the end of the match.
Francesco Baranco, Secretary General of Federbet which fights against match-fixing, described the movements as ‘mad.’
An increased number of bets which aroused suspicion reportedly came from Ukraine and Asia.
Spanish officers are understood to have searched the HQ of Sociedad Deportiva Huesca
Spanish police are deployed outside SD Huesca’s headquarters during the raid on Tuesday
The police, here waiting outside Huesca’s headquarters, began operation began at 8:30am
The Spanish Football Federation is believed to have flagged up its suspicions of possible match-fixing before Tuesday’s police operation with Spanish state prosecutors.
Although several Spanish papers reported Saiz had been arrested, radio station COPE said it had confirmed he was under investigation but had not been formally arrested.
The radio station published on its website: ‘Several media have said Samuel Saiz, currently playing at Getafe, had also been arrested.
‘But COPE journalist Gemma Santos has been able to confirm the player has not been arrested.’
Gemma Santos tweeted: ‘That’s correct. Our reporting team have had it confirmed that Samu Saiz is not under arrest.’
Saiz has been on loan at Getafe this season and respected daily newspapers El Mundo and ABC, citing police sources, have also named RC Deportivo de la Coruna player Inigo Lopez and retired footballer Borja Fernandez, who was playing for Real Valladolid when he hung up his boots, as detainees.
El Mundo and ABC, citing police sources, have also named Borja Fernandez as a detainee
Deportivo de la Coruna player Inigo Lopez has also been reported as a detainee
The police operation began at 8.30am and police officers are understood to have searched the HQ of Sociedad Deportiva Huesca, who has just been relegated from La Liga.
The club’s president Agustin Lasaosa has reportedly been arrested. As well as match-fixing, police are expected to accuse at least some of the detainees of money laundering.
Spanish state broadcaster TVE said 11 arrests had taken place so far.
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.’
Huesca’s president Agustin Lasaosa has reportedly been arrested as part of the scandal
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