Deportivo La Coruna president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro has suggested match-fixing is widespread in the Spanish Primera Division, but has denied that his own club is involved.
Lendoiro’s comments come after new Spanish Football League (LFP) president Javier Tebas said earlier this week that there is “considerable evidence” of match-fixing in Levante’s recent defeat to Deportivo and that he would prove it. Levante lost 4-0 at home to relegation-threatened Deportivo on April 13, prompting allegations over the effort put in by the losing team. Lendoiro told reporters at a Europa Press event in Madrid on Thursday that a host of decisive games towards the end of the season had been thrown as a matter of course.
“Almost all the final matches of the season have been fixed in one way or another,” he said, according to Reuters. He went on to blame Deportivo’s relegation in 2010-11 on match-fixing and said it was widely known that clubs were being paid to throw games to help others avoid the drop to the Segunda Division. “Let all soccer fans be absolutely clear, Deportivo has never taken part – I will put my neck on the line for the players and the board of directors – in this kind of match-fixing,” Lendoiro added.
Tebas, speaking at the same event, said corruption was a problem that only involved “a minority” of 1% of clubs but it had to be stopped. “It is a cancer that must be eradicated and it has the same effect,” said Tebas. “If you don’t take immediate action it will spread and turn into metastasis and will destroy our sport.”