Several Spanish footballers, suspected of being part of an organization dedicated to the faking of matches of first and second division, were arrested Tuesday by the police, say several Spanish media.

Asked about it by AFP, the police confirmed that an operation was underway but without giving details.

According to several media including the daily newspaper El Pais, several footballers including a former player of Real Madrid, suspected of being the head of the organization, other players or former top division players and the president of Huesca, 19th of the last Liga, were arrested as part of this operation.

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All these people, suspected of rigging these matches to profit from betting, are accused of belonging to a criminal organization, corruption and money laundering, according to media reports.

“The police action follows complaints about possible match-fixing in a May 2018 match from La Liga to the Spanish authorities,” said a La Liga spokesman.

La Liga has reported a further eight possible match-fixing cases to police.

“During the 2018/19 season La Liga has filed eight complaints with the general commissioner of the judicial police for alleged acts related to match-fixing in lower divisions of Spanish football and friendlies played in Spain,” said a La Liga statement.

“We have also sent alerts to the general directorate of gaming on 18 football matches for possible identification and sanction of players from lower divisions who could have bet on their competition.”

The statement added: “We thank the police for the extraordinary work done to dismantle what appears to be an organised criminal group dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of football matches.

“This police operation demonstrates the effectiveness of integrity protection systems implemented by La Liga to protect the cleanliness of all competitions in Spanish football.

“La Liga continues to fight to eradicate any scourge against fair play in Spanish football.”

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