President and several football players of the first and second divisions of Spanish football were arrested for allegedly being part of a criminal organization that was dedicated to the arrangement of matches to benefit from sports betting, police said on Tuesday.
The Spanish League said it denounced the possible illegal plot to the authorities and is working in conjunction with the security forces.
The police added that “Operation Oikos” involved nine raids throughout the country and that 11 arrests are expected.
“Among those to be arrested are retired and active first division soccer players, active second division players, as well as club presidents and directors,” the police said.
“The investigation has corroborated that the investigators reached agreements with different players to ‘rig’ at least three matches corresponding to the first, second and third divisions,” he added.
According to the Spanish police, the bookmakers recorded a volume of money up to 14 times higher than normal in a second division match.
A spokesman for La Liga said that the police operation came after a complaint filed by them to the possible settlement of a match in May 2018.
“The League wants to highlight the extraordinary work done by the National Police for the dismantling of an organized group that has been carrying out a criminal activity dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of football matches in national territory,” said La Liga in a statement.
A lawyer from the Huesca club, which recently was relegated to the second division, confirmed that several people were arrested on the basis of an order issued by a local court. He did not release the detainees, but the El País newspaper said they included club president Agustín Lasaosa and the team’s medical chief.
“From the club there is no concern and we are at the disposal of what is requested by the court,” added the lawyer.
The investigation began after Huesca’s 1-0 loss to Nastic at the end of the 2017-18 season in the second division, which La Liga reported to the police.
Huesca finished penultimate in La Liga, for which next season they will play in the second division.