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Ander Herrera one of 36 players potentially facing six-year ban and jail time for match-fixing

Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors lodge 17-page indictment which could have serious consequences for a host of players

Yikes.

Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors have lodged a 17-page indictment demanding two-year jail sentences and six-year bans for 36 players including Man United midfielder Ander Herrera.

Atletico Madrid captain Gabi, former Middlesborough forward Cristhian Stuani and ex-Villarreal right-back Javi Venta are also among those facing the same punishment if convicted of match-fixing.

Man United star Ander Herrera is one of 36 stars Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors have lodged a 17-page indictment demanding two-year jail sentences and six-year soccer bans for

PA:Press Association
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Trouble brewing

Prosecutors have accused the players of a sports corruption in a La Liga game between Real Zaragoza and Levante on May 21, 2011.

Herrera was one of nine then-Zaragoza players to receive payments of up to £79,000 which prosecutors claim ended up in the hands of Levante players who agreed to “lose” the crunch match and help their rivals avoid relegation.

At the time of the original claims, Herrera said: “I have never and never will have anything to do with the manipulation of the results of matches.

“If I am ever called to testify in a judicial hearing, I will be delighted to attend.”


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  • Herrera is one of the then-Zaragoza men under investigation

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    Accusations

    Zaragoza’s manager at the time Javier Aguirre and ex-owner Agapito Iglesias are among five former club chiefs also facing trial.

    Prosecutors allege in the indictment that the Zaragoza players “consented and accepted” the match-fixing arrangement Iglesias, Aguirre, former sports director Antonio Prieto Martinez and the captains (including Gabi) reached with the Levante players.


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    Their indictment, lodged with a court in Valencia, says: “Under the agreement the Levante players would let themselves be beaten at home on May 21, 2011 in return for a payment of £852,000 that was to be handed over to the players before the beginning of the match.

    “To carry out this plan Agapito Iglesias ordered co-accused Francisco Javier Porquera Perez, Zaragoza’s Finance Director and the person who had the electronic means to do so, to transfer fixed amounts of money from Real Zaragoza’s account on May 17 and 19 to the bank accounts of Antonio Prieto Martinez, Javier Aguirre and nine Real Zaragoza players.”

    Gabi was team-mates with Herrera at Zaragoza

    Getty - Contributor
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    Gabi was team-mates with Herrera at Zaragoza

    Herrera’s name is in black and white on a chart showing he received £44,000 on May 17 and £35,000 on May 19.

    Another graph shows he withdrew the first payment in cash from a branch of Ibercaja bank in Jorge Cocci Street in Zaragoza on May 19, 2011 and the second payment the following day.

    Herrera played in Zaragoza’s 2-1 away win which meant Deportivo La Coruna were relegated. He was substituted in the 73rd minute.

    Former Middlesbrough star Cristian Stuani is among the players potentially facing a jail term and ban

    PA:Press Association
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    Former Middlesbrough star Cristhian Stuani Stuani is among the players potentially facing punishment

    Prosecutors say Zaragoza attempted to legitimise the alleged bribes through payslips.

    The indictment says Herrera’s payslip, called P.Extra 5 and “created with the intention of hiding the true destination of the money” on September 19, 2011 according to prosecutors, showed a total payment of £108,000.

    Prosecutors say only a part of that total – £28,500 paid in cash – was a genuine bonus for avoiding relegation.

    Gabi scored Zaragozas two goals in their victory over Levante

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    Gabi scored Zaragoza’s two goals in their victory over Levante

    As well as the prison sentence and football ban for the players, prosecutors want them to pay a fine of £1.7m each if convicted of sports corruption.

    Two-year prison sentences for first-time offenders in Spain are usually suspended.

    The judges who ordered the reopening of the case, based at Valencia Provincial Court, ruled: “The assertions of the Zaragoza players and directors are inconsistent and even contradictory.”

    Herrera was one of nine then-Zaragoza players to receive payments of up to £79,000 which prosecutors claim ended up in the hands of Levante players who agreed to lose

    Getty Images - Getty
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    Herrera was one of nine then-Zaragoza players to receive payments of up to £79,000 which prosecutors claim ended up in the hands of Levante players who agreed to lose

    No date for the trial has yet been set but it is expected to take place towards the end of this year.


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