Two former La Liga footballers, including Xavier Torres, who played for A-League club Perth Glory in 2017/18, have been given one-year prison sentences for match-fixing in Spain.
Torres, alongside his former Real Betis teammate, Antonio Amaya, were convicted of fixing two games in the 2013/14 season of Spain’s top-flight, in addition to five then-Osasuna directors and two real estate agents.
The sentences make the case the first successful prosecution for match-fixing in Spain, where it was determined, then-Osasuna directors, Miguel Archanco, Juan Antonio Pascual and Jesus Peralta, with then-general manager of the club, Angel Maria Vizcay, made a deal with the two players to help Osasuna escape relegation from Spain’s first division competition.
According to the court’s conclusion, Torres and Amaya agreed to be paid an initial 400,000 Euros (AUD $678,482) if they beat Osasuna’s relegation rivals Real Valladolid in the penultimate game of the season, and a further 250,000 Euros (AUD $423,496) if they lost the last match of the season to Osasuna.
Then-general manager of Osasuna, Vizcay, received a conviction of eight years and eight months for crimes of misappropriation, forgery, and corruption in sport, while the two players received one-year sentences for corruption in sport.
Another former Real Betis player, Jordi Figueras, and former Osasuna Foundation president, Diego Maquirriain, were acquitted by the court.
Despite the attempt at match-fixing from the parties involved, Osasuna were still relegated in the 2013/14 season because of other results.
La Liga president, Javier Tebas, said in a statement this is a good start in ridding football of corruption.
“La Liga is happy, not for the convictions of people, but to see a move forward against corruption in football,” Tebas said.