Ander Herrera appears in court as match-fixing trial over 2011 tie between Real Zaragoza and Levante begins

Spain's first major match-fixing trial began on Tuesday with former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera among 42 defendants charged over a 'suspect' 2011 match between his former club Real Zaragoza and Levante.

Agence France-Presse September 03, 2019 17:58:24 IST
Ander Herrera appears in court as match-fixing trial over 2011 tie between Real Zaragoza and Levante begins
  • Ander Herrera among 42 defendants charged over a suspect 2011 match between his former club Real Zaragoza and Levante.

  • The accused made no comments as they arrived at the court in the eastern city of Valencia for the start of proceedings.

  • Real Zaragoza's 2-1 win on 21 May, 2011, the last match of the season, spared the club relegation from the Spanish first division.

Madrid: Spain's first major match-fixing trial began on Tuesday with former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera among 42 defendants charged over a 'suspect' 2011 match between his former club Real Zaragoza and Levante.

Ander Herrera appears in court as matchfixing trial over 2011 tie between Real Zaragoza and Levante begins

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera. AFP

The accused made no comments as they arrived at the court in the eastern city of Valencia for the start of proceedings which are expected to last until 30 September.

Real Zaragoza's 2-1 win on 21 May, 2011, the last match of the season, spared the club relegation from the Spanish first division.

But it triggered an investigation by Spain's anti-corruption prosecutors' office over suspect payments to playing staff and coaches.

Midfielder Gabi Fernandez, who currently plays in Qatar, scored both goals in Real's crucial victory. He is among the accused along with Herrera, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain over the Summer on a free transfer from Old Trafford.

Real Zaragoza's coach at the time, Mexico's Javier Aguirre, is also on trial. Aguirre was sacked as Japan's coach in 2015 over his implication in the scandal.

Prosecutors suspect Real Zaragoza deposited 965,000 euros ($1,000,000) in the bank accounts of some of their players and coaching staff so that they, in turn, could bribe Levante players to deliberately lose the game.

An investigating judge shelved the long-running probe into the match in 2017 but the case was reopened following an appeal by state prosecutors, the Spanish League and Deportivo La Coruna, the club relegated as a result of Real Zaragoza's win.

Other match-fixing scandals have erupted in Spain over the years. As recently as In May police arrested several current and former players as part of a probe into a match-fixing gang that allegedly operated in the country's first and second divisions.

Updated Date:

also read

LaLiga post losses of €892 million for pandemic-hit 2020/21 season
Sports

LaLiga post losses of €892 million for pandemic-hit 2020/21 season

LaLiga have suffered losses for the first time since 2012 but the league expects to recover completely in the next two seasons.

Serie A: Napoli beat Torino to consolidate third spot in Italian league
Sports

Serie A: Napoli beat Torino to consolidate third spot in Italian league

Napoli took advantage of fourth-placed Juventus's shock 2-1 loss at Genoa to move four points ahead with two matches left to play.

LaLiga: Jordi Alba strikes late as Barcelona secure top-four spot with Real Betis win
Sports

LaLiga: Jordi Alba strikes late as Barcelona secure top-four spot with Real Betis win

Jordi Alba's stinging injury-time volley snatched a 2-1 victory for Barcelona at the Benito Villamarin to ensure they will play in the Champions League next term