Thursday, December 4th, 2008
There is a mutual hatred between Spain and Italy when it comes to the world of football, yet it now appears that the Serie A and La Liga now have a new mutual understanding as seemingly irrefutable evidence has unearthed match-fixing in Spain’s top division. Spain’s own Calciopoli appears to have arrived.
The chaos was sparked by Levante’s former captain Inaki Descarga’s public admission that he helped through a crucial match against Athletic Bilbao on the final day of the 2006/07 season in order to keep the Basque Country side from going down and sending Celta Vigo to the Segunda Division instead. Descarga, a central defender, played 247 times for Levante before finally leaving the club to move to Legia Warsaw last summer.
Spanish TV has managed to get a recording of a phone conversation between Descarga and Levante president Julio Romero, in which it is alleged that the footballer openly admitted to having committed the match-fixing offence.
According to reports, Descarga said: “Now the whole team wants a bonus, which would mean putting it in a safe box. If you saw the game you could not tell that it was fixed. I should really have told the whole squad.”
At no point does Descarga reveal who paid his the bribe nor the sum which was paid.
At present it is also unclear how Celta Vigo will respond to the news.
A report from Spanish TV into the affair, including the phone recording of the conversation between Descarga and Romero plus video footage of the Athletic Bilbao-Levante match itself, can be seen here.