Monday, June 1, 2009

Spain Plus Scandal Equals Meh

With three matches left in the Spanish second division season, Real Zaragoza seems like a decent bet to get promoted back to La Liga. They currently sit 3rd on 74 points and hold a five point lead over 4th place Hercules.

How a team named Hercules isn't competing for a European spot out of Spain every year is a post for another day. This is about Real Zaragoza and how they are maybe cheating:

A number of players from Spanish second division outfit Castellon have revealed that they were offered money to lose a league game earlier this season, according to a report... several of the Valenciana-based team told [newspaper] El Mundo that attempts were made to try and pay them to lose against Real Zaragoza.
Oops. The game in question ended in a 1-1 draw. So if any money changed hands, it didn't really accomplish its mission.

The Goal piece elaborates that accusations in Spain's Segunda are not uncommon, citing a report that players at Gimnastic de Tarragona had also been offered €300,000 to throw a match. Peculiarly, a few Google searches using "Gimnastic de Tarragona" and variants of "match fixing" and "scandal" only turned up the Goal post and a Yahoo article referencing it.

There was also the match on last day of last season between Tenerife and Malaga where the former was allegedly paid to throw the match to the promotion benefit of the latter (and at the expense of Real Sociedad). That allegation had a little more teeth to it as audio circulated of phone call between an ex-Tenerife player telling Sociedad president Iñaki Badiola that he took €6,000 or €7,000 to throw the match.

The most shocking thing about this? The premium on match fixing really went up 5000%? In this economic climate? No wonder Spanish clubs are going broke.

Anyway, yeah allegations are cheap and easy, but for fun, let's see if we can't stoke the innuendo anyway... As a mid-table team without much prospects of going up or fear of going down, Castellon would make a nice suitor for a match fixing scandal.

And our work in Spain is done for the day.


Stephanie said...

Wow, kind of lame. They need to take note from the Italians and learn to do it right!

Steve said...

need more Spain.