One of Spain’s longest running football scandals is beginning to reach an end now that prosecutors have reopened an investigation into Levante’s match with Real Zaragoza in 2011, recommending a two-year prison sentence and six-year footballing ban for those implicated.
The alleged objective was clear: to keep Zaragoza in LaLiga on the final day, which was secured by a 2-1 win at Estadio Ciutat de Valencia.
“If such a plot didn’t reach a trial, it would almost be better to withdraw the Sporting Penal Code,” sources from the prosecutor’s office have informed Marca.
“It will be difficult to present a clearer case without a confession.”
Thus, the provincial court has forced judge Isabel Rodriguez to reopen the case after it had been delayed it for almost two years, taking it to trial with a number of well-known footballing names implicated.
This case is the first to arrive in the Spanish courts with such high-profile names as Atletico Madrid captain Gabi, Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, River Plate’s Leonardo Ponzio and Leicester City’s Vicente Iborra.
Up to nine players, including Herrera, Ponzio, Toni Doblas, Maurizio Lanzaro, Paulo Da Silva, Braulio Nobrega, Jorge Lopez and Carlos Diogo, along with coach Javier Aguirre and sporting director Antonio Prieto are said to have received €965,000 ahead of the match.
Each returned it to president Agapito Iglesias unaware of its supposed intent.