Eldense Coach Arrested By Spanish Police After Losing 12-0 To Barcelona B

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The Italian coach of Spanish third division club Eldense is under investigation and have been arrested by the Spanish police over match-fixing, after his team lost 12-0 to Barcelona’s B team over the weekend, Spanish police disclose this on Tuesday.

The Eldense coach Filippo Vito di Pierro, who is Italian, was detained on Monday in the small eastern city of Elda. The man who served as the club’s general director and represented the group of Italian investors that recently partnered with Eldense, Nobile Capuani, also was detained.

Coach Filippo Di Pierro joined the club in January, hired by the unnamed Italian investment group which managed its sporting and financial affairs until Sunday.

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.

Saad, who did not play in the 12-0 defeat, said: “There are four players involved in match fixing. I don’t care what happens, but when I can, I will give the names of these players. Half an hour before playing the game against Barcelona B I was starting, but then I was out of the line up. They told a teammate this game was fixed and if he wanted to play he should not score goals. They didn’t ask me as they knew what my answer would be. The coach knew something, I’m sure, and the players too.”

 “The coach told me to come on and I told him I did not want to. I also told my teammates on the bench that they shouldn’t go out on to the pitch if they didn’t want their names to be stained.”
On Barcelona B, Saad added: “They are not involved in any way. They did what they had to do, score goals. If it had been me I would have done the same.”

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. Spanish media said the Italian was in the process of having his head-coaching licence certified.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “We’re going to investigate because there are certain collateral issues with an Italian investment group that bear the hallmarks of the possible involvement of an international betting ring with a view to match-fixing.”
It’s a crime for footballers, football administrators, coaches or football employees to engage in football betting.

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