MADRID: Five former directors of Spanish club Osasuna and two former Betis players have been jailed for corruption.
Osasuna’s former managing director Angel Vizcay was given the heaviest prison sentence, of eight years and eight months, for charges including misappropriation of funds, falsification of accounts and sporting corruption.
Ex-Betis players Antonio Amaya and Xavi Torres were handed prison sentences of one year each for sporting corruption, added the filing, which said this was the first time any convictions had been made in Spain for sporting corruption.
The sentences are subject to an appeal.
Osasuna president Luis Sabalza said he was pleased with the sentence and reiterated that his club had denounced the previous administration which led to them being convicted.
He added, in a statement: “We are happy. Osasuna were the ones who brought this case to the courts because when we arrived at the club we saw things which we didn’t like and I think the suspicions we had have been confirmed and the courts have done their job.”
Betis said they were “repulsed” by the actions of their two former players, who they said had “caused unfair damage to our club.
A statement added: “As proved, Real Betis had nothing to do with these lamentable actions. Betis have always played an active part in the fight against corruption in football and in favour of fair play, working hand in hand with La Liga and the other organisations that run our sport.”
A court report said it had been proved that the Osasuna directors agreed to pay Amaya and Torres a total of 650,000 euros ($701,935.00) to incentivise them to help Betis beat Real Valladolid in the penultimate match of the 2013-14 season and to lose their final game of the campaign against Osasuna.
Betis, who had already been relegated and finished bottom of the table, beat Valladolid 4-3 while Osasuna won 2-1 against Betis but were still relegated.
Two real estate agents were also convicted for falsifying documents to help Osasuna balance the books for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons and were given prison sentences of nine months.
Vizcay and the other jailed Osasuna directors were also ordered to reimburse the club 2,340,000 euros for the misuse of funds during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.