Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Police arrests coach, three others after team's 12-0 to Barcelona's B team

The coach of a third-division Spanish club who lost 12-0 against Barcelona’s B team over the weekend has been arrested by the police.

Filippo Vito di Pierro, who is an Italian and coach of Eldense was detained in the small eastern city of Elda.

The club’s general director, who was also representing a group of Italian investors that recently partnered with Eldense, Nobile Capuani, was detained as well.

Authorities took them into custody after interrogating some Eldense players after a complaint made by the club’s president.

They have denied any wrongdoing.

“This is a very delicate subject and it needs to be treated very seriously,” the
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.

“In other countries we have seen similar situations and they are very unfortunate.

Too many people are trying to benefit from football.”

Eldense temporarily ceased their sporting activities on Sunday, a day after the defeat sealed their relegation.

The team also ended their contract with the group of Italian investors.

The 12-0 defeat equalled a record for Spain’s third division. Extremadura routed Portuense by the same score in 1993.

The Eldense striker Cheikh Saad told local media that four team‑mates were involved in the scheme, including some who were seen in tears and were being consoled by Barcelona players after the final whistle.

Saad said he found out that the arrangement was for the score to be 8-0 at half‑time and 12-0 at the end. He did not name the team‑mates.

“In the end, everything will be revealed,” Saad said, adding that he refused to play and stayed on the bench.

David Aguilar, the Eldense club president, said that a player’s agent told him the match had been fixed in connection with online betting.

He said he had noticed unusual decisions made by the Italian coach recently, including the use of players who had not been playing regularly.

Eldense have six matches left this season. Barcelona B leads their regional group of the third division.

Eldense have played three successive seasons in the third division.

The club, founded in 1921, were in the second division for five consecutive seasons in the late 1950s and early 60s.

Di Pierro was acting as one of Eldense’s coaches alongside Fran Ruiz Casares.

Meanwhile The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Wednesday that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Eldense over match-fixing allegations following the "striking" and "rare" result.

A statement said: "The competition judge considers there is enough rational evidence to begin extraordinary disciplinary proceedings against Club Deportivo Eldense, and all its members, players, staff and the club delegate that were included in that match report."

OFICIAL: Acuerdo del Juez de Competición sobre el encuentro entre el F.C. Barcelona "B" y el C. D. Eldense

- RFEF (@rfef) April 4, 2017

Superdeporte reported that the latest arrests were of two players and another coach.

Those detained could face charges of "corruption between individuals" and "belonging to an organised crime group," the report said.

The report said on-loan Valencia midfielder Mike Wayne Fernandez Greenwood was among those detained.

A Valencia spokesperson told ESPN FC: "We are aware of the current situation of our player. The player is entitled to a presumption of innocence.

"We have zero tolerance regarding this issue, and we will wait to see what happens."

David Aguilar, the president of Eldense's managing board, has announced the names of 12 first-team players who will continue playing for the club, with Fernandez not among them.

The allegations came to light after Eldense player Cheikh Saad accused three teammates and acting coach Fran Ruiz Casares of match-fixing.

Another Eldense player, David Azin, left on the bench for Saturday's match, said he did not wish to come on as a substitute because he believed the game had been thrown.

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