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Spanish league players arrested over alleged match fixing

A general view of the La Liga logo

Spanish police have made several arrests following a complaint from La Liga about a game in May 2018 that was possibly fixed by "an organised criminal group", the Spanish league has said.

A number of current and former players, as well as club officials, from Spain's top two divisions have been detained.

Operation Oikos involved nine raids across the country and an expected 11 arrests.

Spanish police said: "The investigation has established that those under investigation came to arrangements with different players to 'fix' at least three games in the first, second and third divisions."

The league said during the 2018/19 season it informed police of eight suspected cases of "acts related to match-fixing" and another 18 cases of players having placed bets on the outcomes of matches.

A La Liga spokesman said: "Today's police action follows a complaint filed by La Liga with the Spanish authorities about possible match-fixing in a May 2018 match.

"We want to thank the National Police for the extraordinary work done to dismantle what appears to be an organised criminal group dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of football matches."

La Liga explained that it tipped off the police after its "integrity protection systems" - detailed analysis of betting patterns - detected possible match-fixing.

It added: "La Liga continues to fight to eradicate any scourge against fair play in Spanish football."

A lawyer for the club Huesca, who were recently relegated from La Liga, confirmed that various people there had been detained on a warrant issued by a local court in the northeastern town, but did not directly name those detained.

"We have not been able to speak to the president yet. However he will be able to give opportune explanations in due course," the lawyer, Pedro Camarero, told reporters at Huesca's stadium.

"Internally within the club we are not worried and are at the disposal of whatever the courts request of us. For now, we do not know how things will develop."

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