The villainous boss of match-fixing has risen again, this time into the fourth tier of Spanish football. Spain’s Policia Nacional issued a press release on Tuesday explaining that 10 players from Segunda and Tercera RFEF, the fourth and fifth tiers of Spanish football respectively, have been arrested for match-fixing.
El Pais covered the story, while Mundo Deportivo allege the arrests were made in southern and western Spain, in Badajoz, Seville, Almería y Cádiz and Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz). The latter were from the club Atletico Sanluqeuno, who condemned any action that goes against the spirit of the sport or the club.
The operation, called Operation Conifera [conifer], involved not only the Spanish police but also Europol and Interpol. According to the report, players were tasked with ensuring the results played out a certain way, how big bets were placed and the players in question rewarded with a portion of the profits.
It is the first high-profile incident of match-fixing in Spanish football since 2014, when Xavi Torres and Antonio Amaya were convicted of accepting money to influence results at Real Betis, according to Deutsche Welle. No further details are available, but as always with criminal enterprises, there is always the fear that only the tip of the iceberg will make it to the public eye.