MADRID: Three former players of the Seville club Betis are among 18 people who have been charged with alleged involvement in match-fixing in a case stemming from Osasuna’s attempt to avoid relegation from LaLiga in 2013-14.

Both clubs are currently in the top division and former directors of the latter club have also been charged for paying €650,000 to former Betis players Amaya Carazo, Jordi Figueras and Xavi Torres to help Osasuna stay up.

Local media has reported court documents stating that the money was paid to have Betis, which had already been relegated, defeat Osasuna rivals Valladolid in the penultimate round of games and to lose to Osasuna in the last round.

Betis went on to defeat Valladolid 4-3 and lose to Osasuna 2-1, but all three teams were relegated regardless of the efforts.

The judge in Pamplona has charged the 18 people, the majority of them with links to Osasuna, including former president Miguel Archanco, with offences including fraud and sports corruption. A two-year investigation had originally probed 29 people.

Judge Fermin Otamendi Zozaya said Osasuna directors “decided to use money from Osasuna to keep the club at all costs in the first division of the Spanish league, delivering different quantities of cash to players from other teams with the intent of altering the result of the competition.”

The money was allegedly paid in instalments of €400,000 and €250,000 before and after the Betis-Osasuna clash after a deal made at a hotel in Madrid in a meeting between Osasuna directors and two of the Betis players.

The judge said the investigation also demonstrated that the Betis players allegedly asked for more money afterwards, but were refused due to the club’s financial difficulties at the time. The directors allegedly tried to cover up the payments by saying the money was used in fees to two local real estate agents. The agents have also been charged.