Police are investigating footballers, ex-players and club executives over suspicions of forming a match-fixing group to profit from betting on games, Spanish newspaper El Pais reports.

General view of armed police officers outside the stadium Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain, May 28, 2019.
General view of armed police officers outside the stadium Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain, May 28, 2019. (Reuters)

Spanish police arrested a number of first- and second-division football players and officials over suspicions of forming a match-fixing group to profit from betting on games, El Pais reported on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Spanish police confirmed there was an open investigation but would not give details.

The Spanish-language daily newspaper said that police raids were taking place across the country on Tuesday and that several current and former players and officials from clubs in the top two divisions had been arrested.

The Spanish league said the arrests were carried out by the National Police as the result of an investigation it instigated. The league said it contacted authorities about possible match-fixing involving a match in May 2018, but it did not provide details about the teams or players involved.

The league said during the 2018-19 season it informed police of eight suspected cases of "acts related to match-fixing in lower, non-professional divisions and international friendlies."

Who are the detainees?

A lawyer for the club Huesca, recently demoted from the top-tier La Liga, confirmed that various people there had been detained on a warrant issued by a local court in the northeastern town.

He did not directly name those detained. But El Pais reported that they included club president Agustin Lasaosa as well as the head of the club's medical department.

"We haven't been able to speak to the president yet. However he will be able to give opportune explanations in due course," the lawyer, Pedro Camarero, told reporters at Huesca's stadium.

"Internally within the club we are not worried and are at the disposal of whatever the courts request of us. For now, we do not know how things will develop," he said.

Investigation since 2017

The report said that the investigation into match-fixing began after Huesca's 1-0 defeat to Nastic at the end of their 2017-18 season in the Segunda or second division.

By the time of that game, Huesca had already guaranteed their promotion to La Liga for the first time, and irregular betting patterns over the half-time and full-time scores were spotted, El Pais said.

Huesca recently finished second-last in La Liga and will be back in Segunda next season.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies