MATCH FIXING CASE | LEVANTE-ZARAGOZA
Public prosecutor files lawsuit against Zaragoza and 41 others
Alejandro Luzón presented the case against the match fixing allegations from the match between Levante and Zaragoza in 2011.
It’s official. The anti-corruption prosecutor Alejandro Luzón has today announced the lawsuit for the alleged fixing in the Levante-Zaragoza match in May 2011, which ended 2-1 and which saw Zaragoza stay up and Deportivo La Coruña relegated. In it, Luzón has put in a criminal complaint against Zaragoza as a legal person with criminal liability and 41 more people who were involved, including directors, managers and players from both teams: from Zaragoza captain Gabi to those from Levante, Ballesteros and Juanfran. All face the possibility of prison terms of six months to four years and from one year to six banned from playing, as well as a large fine of up to 5.5 million euros.
The prosecutor has presented the complaint under Article 270 and following the Criminal Procedure Act and the provisions of Article 3.4 of the Organic Statute of the Public Prosecutor. It will go before the magistrate Dean of Valencia, in accordance with Article 14.2 of the Criminal Procedure Act and 87.1 of the Organic Law of the Judiciary, taking the place of commission of the alleged crime of sporting fraud.
The prosecutor questioned 25 people in the pre-trial phase since October 2, although one of them, Quico Catalán, did so as a witness. In that questioning he received crucial confessions from Gabi, who acknowledged that he did “as the club had asked”. It is assumed that money amounting to 965,000 euros was used to pay the Levante players. Zaragoza president Agapito Iglesias said the money was to pay for the 12,000 Zaragoza fans who made the trip and also the buses that were used to transport them.
Luzon’s intention was to present the complaint last Friday but the last documents requested from the bank only arrived on noon on Monday. Now, having filed the complaint, the intention is to remain present in the process and even travel to Valencia for the next interrogation phase if the complaint is declared as admissible.
In addition to Real Zaragoza as an entity, are defendants Agapito Iglesias, Francisco Javier Porquera (right owner), Francisco José Checa (general secretary in 2011 and now), Antonio Prieto (sporting director of Zaragoza), Javier Aguirre (coach of Zaragoza) and players Maurizio Lanzaro, Doblas, Paulo César da Silva, Jorge López, Ander Herrera, Braulio, Ponzio, Gabi, Diogo, Obradovic, Uche, Pinter, Paredes, Leo Franco, Jarosik, Bertolo, Boutahar, Lafita, Pallardó, Munúa, Rodas, Rafa Jordá, Rubén Suárez, Xavi Torres, Stuani, Wellington Alves, Jefferson Montero, Robusté, Javi Venta, Reina, Caicedo, Iborra, Ballesteros, Juanfran and Cerra.
The prosecutor has been tough with the managers and captains of Zaragoza
After announcing the defendants, the prosecutor went on to relate the facts, saying: "the president of Zaragoza, Agapito Iglesias, as well as the director Francisco Javier and Francisco José Checa agreed with sporting director, Antonio Prieto, coach Javier Aguirre and and the captains Gabi, Ponzio and Jorge López, representing and with the consent of the other players, to rig the game (...). To this end it was established that 965,000 euros was paid to players of Levante in exchange for them allowing Zaragoza to win the game”.
He continued: "In executing this agreement, on 17 and 19 May 2011 the adviser of Zaragoza and financial director of the club, Francisco Javier Porquera, ordered the transfer from the account of Zaragoza the amounts of money to the accounts of Antonio Prieto, Javier Aguirre and these players: Lanzaro, Ander Herrera, Toni Doblas, Paulo da Silva, Braulio, Ponzio, Gabi, Jorge Lopez and Diogo ".