Spanish police detain 23 for alleged soccer match-fixing in Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar

football31 January 2023 12:23| © Reuters

A group of 23 people, including soccer players, have been arrested as part of a probe into suspected match-fixing in non-professional Spanish, Andorran and Gibraltarian soccer leagues, Spanish police said on Tuesday.

Those arrested are suspected of belonging to a ring that allegedly won as much as 500 000 euros ($540 750) through minor bets with payouts that were too small to raise regulatory flags, acting on information from players who then influenced the games' final outcome, police said.

"A second layer of the scam comprised soccer players who took advantage of their position to organise the fixing in the teams under their influence," police said.

No players were identified, but police said the ring targeted some 30 games in non-professional leagues such as Spain's third division and the local leagues of micro-state Andorra and British enclave Gibraltar.

Officials from the three football associations didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The investigation was carried out in 2021 and 2022 with the help of several organisations, including Spain's football federation RFEF, LaLiga, the Betting Market Global Investigation Service (SIGMA) and European governing body Uefa's Anti-Match-Fixing Unit.

It was also supported by international police forces Europol and Interpol.