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Spain – Anti-match fixing measures strengthened under new agreement

By - 17 April 2018

The General Director of the Police Germán López Iglesias has signed a collaboration agreement with David Aganzo President of The Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) to initiate more efficient measures when it comes to the detection and prevention of match fixing.

The agreement centres on improving communication between both bodies when it comes to sports betting.

Under the agreement the AFE has agreed to report any event that could constitute an infraction when it comes to the corruption of individuals and sports fraud, according to Spanish daily sports newspaper Diario AS. In addition, the AFE has agreed to share any information related to any possible manipulation of betting markets, in order to sound the alarm before any football match takes place where it is suspected that match fixing could be underway.

The AFE will provide training courses and seminars to members of the National Police Corps of Spain, who are part of the General Commissariat of Judiciary Police (CGPJ) an intelligence service responsible for the investigation of crimes such as organised crime, economic and monetary crimes or cybercrime and are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of sports fraud. The Spanish police force will also designate a head of a National Police Office of Integrity in Sport, Games and Betting, who will receive any information on fraud and match fixing in Spanish football and will work closely with the AFE.

A number of specialised police forces within the national police have already been working closely with the AFE in order to research match fixing and have been looking into the prosecution of fraud within sports.

The announcement comes after a full-scale investigation was launched into match fixing in the third (Segunda B) and fourth tier (Tercera) divisions in the Spanish football league in February. Members of the Unit of Specialised and Violent Crimes (UDEV), in collaboration with members of the Technological Investigation Unit and Europol, initiated the operation to thwart the alleged plot, which was led by two ex-football players along with a number of other individuals who acted as intermediaries. The organisation is believed to have ties with other countries specifically China, where the illegal operation had contacts via a betting website.

More than 20 people were detained across Spain as part of the operation. Prior to the arrests the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (National Professional Football League) had been working with the police to provide any available data that could point to alleged match fixing which would have ties with other countries.

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