FIFA vice president in match fixing allegations
05.12.2008By Stine Alvad
A taped conversation implies that FIFA and UEFA Vice President and President of the Royal Spanish Football Association (RFEF) Àngel María Villar, was aware of match fixing in Spanish Primera División.
Yesterday a disturbing conversation, taped by Popular Meditterranean TV, was published in Spanish newspaper El Mundo. This conversation is said to be between Iñaki Descarga, former captain of Spanish club Levante, and Club President, Julio Romero.
On the tape, Descarga claims that his team took money to lose to Athletic Bilbao in order to keep Athletic from going down, sending down Celta Vigo instead.
According to the tape the fixing was taking place two months before the match and did not involve all of the players on the Levante team. “Had I told everybody, we couldn’t have done it,” Descarga explains on the tape.
The conversation between the two men is reportedly light-hearted and happy as their deal was successful, “If you watch the match, you can not tell it has been fixed”, Descarga says in the recording.
What has caused the greatest furore in Spain is the indication that Villar, president of the RFEF knew about this alleged arrangement in Levante. “We have made sure that Villar knows”, Romero says in the recording, implying that Villar was well aware what went on June 17 last year, the day of the fixed match and the day before the conversation took place. The match ended 2-0 in favour of Athletico, one of the goals being an own-goal.
Spanish football is going through a rough time these days with allegations on match fixing in both second and first division. Earlier this week another taped conversation was published in El Mundo.
The recording supposedly involves former player for Tenerife, Jesuli and president of the club Real Sociedad, Iñaki Badiola and reveals that Jesuli and his team mates took money to lose against Malaga last season, meaning Malaga were promoted at the expense of Real Sociedad.
According to El Mundo, Jesuli tells that the players received about 6,000 Euros for their defeat, but the conversation between Desgarca and Romero does not reveal how much or from whom the money in Levante came from.
Romero denied in a statement yesterday that the match was fixed and that no conversation with Villar had taken place. This does not keep the RFEF from wanting to look into the allegations, “in order to clear the sport”, they say, reports El Mundo.
Celta Vigo, the club that was sent down, states on its website, that they want a formal investigation of the allegations.
According to eufootball.biz, La Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) is now urging the government to enact laws to combat match-fixing, bribery and corruption in Spanish football.
- To read the transcription of the conversation between Descarga and Romero (in Spanish), click here
- To read or listen to excerpts from the conversation between Jesuli and Badiola (in Spanish), click here
- La supuesta compra del Athletic-Levante por la permanencia (06-07) salpica a Villar, El Mundo
- LFP is concerned with new claims of corruption, euFootball.biz