Liga clubs Villarreal, Getafe deny match-fixing report


Villarreal's Gerard Moreno, left, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (Paul White / AP)

MADRID — Two Spanish first-division clubs have denied media reports that link them to alleged match-fixing.

Getafe and Villarreal issued statements on Friday supporting their players and denying any involvement in the possible attempt to fix a match as reported by Spanish radio COPE.

COPE reported it had access to police investigation files that included transcript of a conversation between two former players talking about arranging payoffs to some Villarreal players to lose the final match of last season. The transcript is part of a larger investigation into an alleged match-fixing ring in Spanish football.

The match ended 2-2 between Getafe and Villarreal. Getafe finished two points behind Valencia in fifth place, missing out on a Champions League berth. Villarreal finished in the middle of the table.

Getafe specifically defended its captain Jorge Molina, whom the two former players on the transcript appear to mention.

Last month in a separate case, a Spanish court sentenced nine former soccer executives, players, and businessmen to prison after finding them guilty of colluding to fix the result of soccer matches. That was the first time such a verdict had been handed down in the country.

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