The testimony of a Zaragoza player, the desperate call of Augusto César Lendoiro , president of Deportivo , along with the warning of Villarreal advisor Fernando Roig Negueroles and two suspicious parties are the keys that led Javier Tebas to file a complaint for the adjustment of the Levante-Zaragoza of the 2010/11 season in March 2013.
It took a year for the president of the Professional Football League to go to justice, as he testified today in Valencia, so as not to "damage the investigation" because the data collected showed indications that a crime could have been committed. "March 3, 2013 took the step of fulfilling the assignment made by the player. My conscience did not allow me to know that and do nothing."
Thebes related a " desperate call" from Lendoiro warning him that Sergio Gonzalez , then a Levante player and former Deportivo, had told him that the game was rigged. "He called me to warn me and told me that he knew it for Sergio , and that his players knew it too. I was not surprised by the call because the end of the season in recent years was quite chaotic," he added.
The steps he followed was to call the president of the Levant, Quico Catalán, "to warn him and ask him to inform his players that it was a crime since 2010 and warned them." He also communicates it to the president of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE), Luis Rubiales, who replies that he has spoken with the soccer players and is denied. "Some had been his companions," he added.
Zaragoza neither communicates nor warns him, "because Agapito Iglesias was in all the conversations on these issues in those years " and neither did the Spanish Federation.
A few months later, between November and December 2012, Thebes receives a testimony that has become key in this process . The defenses in unison requested the nullity of the process when considering that the complaint of the president of LaLiga was based on a violation of professional secrecy, since he acknowledged having had knowledge of the adjustment through the account of a Zaragoza player client of his law firm .
The judge agreed to resolve this request in his sentence, but clarified that he considers it very important to hear his testimony in order to be able to elucidate whether his complaint violated the rights of his then client.
Tebas refused to reveal who that Zaragoza player was and only clarified that he was part of the squad "that year and in later years" and that not all the members of that wardrobe are sitting on the bench.
Expressly, that player told him everything that happened. "He came to the office in Madrid shortly before the Zaragoza creditors 'contest was signed, in December 2011, for a professional consultation that I was not going to solve and, although he did not come to that, the issue comes up. He told me,' Look Javier, I know this. I am tired, I have a lot of pressure ... 'and I told him that as of 2010 it was a complicated issue, foreseen in the Penal Code and that I should report, "he said.
" At that moment he becomes a client . It is he who tells me to file the complaint, because it will be good for football, that these practices had to be ended, but he is afraid of being a sneak and not being able to return to a locker room" , warns Thebes. His client's dispensation to disclose the adjustment had limits: "He tells me expressly what I cannot speak about: Keep his name and data on how he passed and how he met some documents that can identify him as the player because he is afraid of reprisals" .
The mysterious player tells him that they fixed the match with cash , through transfers and withdrawals, that the amounts were "over 100,000 euros" and that they were "Dr. Villanueva, the football player Antonio Paredes and the sports director, Antonio Prieto" who were responsible for paying the Levant. And the money was collected by Sergio Ballesteros, Captain Granota.
" De Prieto did not surprise me, because he was known as a person in charge of looking for favors. People from Elche had already told me that he was in charge of these party buying tasks," he said.
Two more suspicions
Thebes waits two years to file the complaint but, as he told the judge, he continued to receive evidence. Another call, this time from Fernando Roig Nogueroles, advisor of Villarreal, tells him again about the size of Levante-Zaragoza. "Villarreal, like Zaragoza, was at risk of relegation and tells me that you have to keep an eye on Zaragoza, because Javi Venta (former Levante player) has confirmed that they bought Zaragoza-Levante and that he is paddled because he received 35,000 euros " , explained the president of LaLiga.
"The last two games of the following season of Zaragoza were also rare. Before Getafe there were premature expulsions and they seem forced and before Racing, the coach of the Cantabrian team says they lose the game due to poor performance of their players."
There is a third source that confirms to Thebes the purchase of the parties. " Quique Pina, who was also affected, tells me that there is a person who has been an intermediary to buy the games . His name was Fernando and he called me at the port of Estepona in summer 2012. He tells me that Zaragoza executives, in a Madrid hotel, they had asked him to fix the last two games of the season: Getafe and Racing. I asked for the tests, but he never appeared again, "he said.
Why Zaragoza could intend to buy the Levante-Zaragoza party, Tebas has it clear: "Zaragoza would have gone to liquidation if it descended."
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