History repeats itself. As the British writer Aldous Huxley lamented, "perhaps the only lesson history teaches us is that human beings do not learn anything from the lessons of history." And is that the 'Oikos case' has once again shown us the ugliest face of modern football; a sport that lives gripped by the most ferocious capitalism, which has colonized the most humble neighborhoods of our country with bookmakers so that the same people always fill their pockets with the same old money. Bets, encounters, they are back in the center of the target.
"Football is rotten," says Cheick Saad (Nouadhibou, Mauritania, 1990), the footballer who just over two years ago, in an exercise of honesty, courage and integrity as unusual as exemplary, raised his voice to denounce that behind the unquestionable 12-0 that Barça B endorsed the Eldense was a plot of matches rigged. Saad, who arrived in Spain with his family two years later to settle in Roquetas de Mar, first, and then in Lleida, landed in Eldense in January 2017. The New Pepico Amat thus became the umpteenth stop in a career that to date had taken him all over the Spanish geography and even to Latvia, where he was first division champion with a Ventspils that also allowed him to discover the Champions League.
Up to 60 players
Saad, a striker with a goal that stands out for its power, landed in Elda with the illusion of returning to make a hole in Second B and enjoy football after a time away from the playing fields because of an injury. He gained the status of owner as soon as he arrived, but soon everything began to grow thin in the ecosystem of a club that that course got to have six coaches and to employ up to 60 players, according to BDFutbol data. "It was an absolute madness. There were a lot of players. Sometimes we were 30 or 35 in the training sessions, "says Saad before discovering that there were soccer players who paid between "500 and 700 euros & rdquor; to have the opportunity to play in the third highest category of Spanish football.
The situation of the Eldense exploded definitively on April 1, 2017, when the Valencian team, virtually descended after having only 14 points in 31 games, visited the field of the outstanding leader of group 3 of Segunda B, Barça B. "Just average the hour before jumping on the grass, the coach told me he would not be a starter. That surprised me, put me on alert & rdquor; recalls the African attacker, who had played the 90 minutes in seven of the last nine games. Reality began to overcome fiction as soon as the duel started and the one that ended up being one of the strongest goals in the history of the bronze category of national football: 8-0 at half-time, 12-0 at the end of the game.
Meeting with two strangers
"The coach told me to go out and warm up, but I refused because I smelled something. I knew something strange was happening. I also told the other players who were on the bench that if they did not want their name to be stained they would do the same, "adds Saad, who, while going to the bus, met two strangers who said: "Know that there are players down there, in the locker room, who have sold the game & rdquor;. And they showed WhatsApp messages, audios and photos that ratified that the result would have been rigged.
A day later, Saad lit the fuse through social networks. "The 12-0 is unreal. In the end everything will come to light & rdquor;, he wrote, feeding all the suspicions that the scandalous marker had already raised. In fact, as revealed by 'The Confidential', the bets that had been made (8-0 at halftime, 12-0 at the end of the game) were so exaggerated because they had to recover the huge amounts of money that had been lost by not meet the objective in previous meetings. "Against the Gavà, the previous week, the president went down to the dressing room to insult us," recalls Saad, who refused to look the other way and decided to focus on one of the saddest chapters in the history of Spanish football. "I did it for the love of football. For the anger of seeing that the sport that has always been my life was stained. Because of the anger of knowing that my teammates had cheated on me, the fans and all of us who love this sport, to all those who believe in clean football & rdquor ;.
More than 150,000 euros
"They told me they wanted to talk to me. They told me everything because they wanted to try not to talk, "adds Saad, who ended up denouncing four of his colleagues who could win "more than 150,000 euros & rdquor; by rigging the result of the game against the Barca branch, a very tempting figure in an abandoned category in which the bulk of the players earn between 800 and 2,000 euros a month; an oasis in which groups of investors such as the one led by Nobile Capuani can develop their activities.
Those events changed his life to Saad, who had to start live with nocturnal calls from private numbers in which they came to threaten him with death. Not only him, also his family. It was useless to change the phone frequently or to bring police escorts, the fear never disappeared. "They told me that I did not know what I had done, that I had screwed a lot of bets, that there was a lot of money involved. They even tried to show that I was also involved. But I have my principles. They have educated me like that & rdquor ;, highlights the footballer of Nouadhibou.
Lots of suffering
Despite being named captain after facing the club, Saad said goodbye to the Eldense because he felt he needed to change the air, but He had great difficulty finding equipment – "No club wanted to run the risk of being linked to match-fixing & rdquor; – and ended up going to Ascó, first, and L'Hospitalet, later. And now, as he continues to recover from the quadriceps injury that has kept him away from the pitch since January, he reflects: "In spite of everything, I would do it again. But I would do it anonymously, without showing my face, because we have suffered a lot. Of all those who were in that encounter, the one that worse has happened has been me & rdquor ;.
And what has he done? "I do not know what to think. I do not even know if it was worth it. Because nothing has been done. I thought things would change, but the same thing happened again. And even worse, because it has happened in the First Division. If it happens in First, it can happen in all the categories. Soccer every day is more rotten & rdquor; repeats Saad. And he does it with the desolate gesture of someone who can not guess how he can explain to his four-year-old son that some have been able to carry something so beautiful.
. (tagsToTranslate) Operation Oikos (t) fixes (t) Cheick Saad (t) Eldense (t) bets