Two former La Liga footballers have been given one-year prison sentences in a landmark case marking the first successful prosecution for match-fixing in Spain.
The former Real Betis players Antonio Amaya and Xavier Torres, who played for A-League club Perth Glory in 2017/18 under coach Kenny Lowe, were on Friday convicted of fixing two games in the 2013/14 season.
Five then-Osasuna directors, and two real estate agents, were also convicted. The Provincial Court of Navarra concluded that then-Osasuna directors Miguel Archanco, Juan Antonio Pascual and Jesus Peralta, together with then-general manager of the club Angel Maria Vizcay, made a deal with the two players in a bid to help Osasuna escape relegation from Spain’s first division.
According to the court’s verdict, Amaya and Torres agreed to be paid an initial 400,000 euros (AU$678,482) if they beat Osasuna’s relegation rivals Real Valladolid in the penultimate game of the season, and a further
The penalties imposed on the convicted varied from eight years and eight months for Vizcay, for crimes of misappropriation, forgery, and corruption in sport; to the one-year sentences for corruption in sport given to Amaya and Torres. Ex-club treasurer Sancho Bandres and real estate agents Cristina Valencia and Albert Nolla were also found guilty.
Another former Betis player, Jordi Figueras, and former Osasuna Foundation president Diego Maquirriain were acquitted.
Betis lost 2-1 away at Osasuna on the last day of the 2013/14 season but Osasuna were still relegated because of other results.
“La Liga is happy, not for the convictions of people, but to see a move forward against corruption in football,” Spanish League president Javier Tebas said in a statement.
Torres played 24 games for Perth Glory in the 2017/18 summer, scoring four goals in the season.