A judge investigating match fixing in Spain has stated that Valencia’s two goal win over Valladolid, which landed the club a spot in the Champions League next season, was fixed by a criminal gang and up to seven Valladolid players.

Both goals in the tie came as a result of defensive errors from Valladolid players, with Santi Mina assisting Carlos Soler after Valladolid’s Kiko Olivas was caught in possession on the edge of his own box.

A similar error led to Valencia doubling their lead when  sloppy play from Yoel Rodriguez and Ruben Alcaraz, allowed Dani Parejo to so provide Rodrigo with a simple finish.

According to a report by El Mundo, a wire tap was recorded by police, which allegedly recorded Carlos Aranda stating: “Look brother, Valencia wins the first half and the second, okay?

“Listen to me, they win the first half and the second, they win the game…look, you know what it is, nobody can find out. Nobody is nobody, nobody, no your friends, or anyone.”

According to El Mundo, he goes onto say: “No one can find out about this and no one means no one, eh. Not your friends, no one.”

The allegations follow a host of arrests of Spanish first and second tier footballers over accusations of match fixing and involvement in a criminal organisation, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Amongst the players involved were Getafe’s Samuel Saiz, who spent last season on loan at English Championship side Leeds United. Former Real Madrid player Raul Bravo, Real Valladolid’s Borja Fernandez and Deportivo de La Coruna’s Inigo Lopez Montana are also all under investigation.

The matches in question during that investigation took place in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. A La Liga spokesperson stated: “The police action follows complaints about possible match-fixing in a May 2018 match from La Liga to the Spanish authorities.

“During the 2018/19 season La Liga has filed eight complaints with the general commissioner of the judicial police for alleged acts related to match-fixing in lower divisions of Spanish football and international friendlies played in Spain.”

The statement continued: “We have also sent alerts to the general directorate of gaming on 18 football matches for possible identification and sanction of players from lower divisions who could have bet on their competition.

“We thank the 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.

“This police operation demonstrates the effectiveness of integrity protection systems implemented by La Liga to protect the cleanliness of all competitions in Spanish football.

“La Liga continues to fight to eradicate any scourge against fair play in Spanish football.”

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