Herrera denies match-fixing

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Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has said his “conscience is totally clear” despite being named in a match-fixing probe in Spain.

The 25-year-old stated his innocence on his official Facebook page after it was confirmed that he and Swansea winger Jefferson Montero were among 41 people mentioned in an investigation report produced by the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office in Spain.

The investigation alleges that 965,000 euros was paid in cash by then Real Zaragoza coach Javier Aguirre and nine of his players, including Herrera, with their club’s consent to the Levante players ahead of their Primera Division game in the 2010-11 campaign.

Zaragoza won 2-1 in Valencia on May 21, 2011, a result that allowed them to avoid relegation to Spain’s second division.

Herrera though is adamant he has not committed any offence.

He wrote on Facebook: “In an ongoing legal process involving Real Zaragoza, the club I was honoured to play for from 12 until 22 years of age, there are 41 people cited as possible witnesses, of which I am one.

“I have never had and will never have anything to do with manipulating match results.

“If I am ever called to testify in any judicial hearing, I’ll be happy to attend, as my conscience is totally clear.

“I love football and I believe in fair play, both on and off the pitch.”

Herrera joined United in the summer from Athletic Bilbao, having initially been a target for the club under previous manager David Moyes back in January.

A court document provided by the General Prosecutors’ office to Press Association Sport states: ”The public prosecutor has filed an action in a criminal court in Valencia against the people mentioned in the document for alleged sporting fraud regarding article 286 bis 4 of Spain’s penal code.”

The case prosecutor, Alejandro Luzon, considers that ”it was established that 965,000 euros would be handed to Levante in exchange for them allowing Zaragoza to win the game.

”The funds in cash reached the Levante players before the match as part of the remuneration, as part of the agreement for Real Zaragoza’s win.”

According to Luzon, ”to establish the bribe, the funds provided by Real Zaragoza were taken out in cash by some club members”, of which Herrera was alleged to be one.

The document shows that 50,000 euros were deposited in the accounts of Aguirre, financial director Francisco Porquera Perez and nine players on May 19, 2011.

Zaragoza and their former club president Agapito Iglesias are named in the document.

Players, including Swansea’s Montero, but no coaches or club executives of Levante, are also on the list along with Atletico Madrid captain Gabi, a member of the Zaragoza team at the time.

A Swansea spokesman, asked about Montero being named, said: ”We have had no contact from anyone regarding the matter.”

The alleged actions are stated as sporting fraud by article 286 bis 4 of Spain’s penal code in which ”members of clubs and sportsmen, officials and referees, involved in conduct that has the finality to fix a sporting result face criminal charges”.

This is the first case of match-fixing in Spain.

Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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