The first conviction for sports corruption in Spain, the Osasuna case, was made public on Friday, two months after the end of the trial in the Provincial Court of Navarre for alleged match-fixing. The sentence, which can still be appealed to the Supreme Court, unanimously condemns the former Osasuna manager, Ángel Vizcay, former president Miguel Archando, former directors Juan Antonio Pascual and Jesús Peralta, ex-treasurer Sancho Bandrés, real estate agents Cristina Valencia and Albert Nolla, and former Betis players Antonio Amaya and Xabier Torres. Former Osasuna Foundation director Diego Maquirriain and former Betic player Jordi Figueras have been acquitted.
The penalties imposed for crimes of misappropriation, forgery of commercial documents, forgery and sports corruption range from 8 years to 8 months in prison imposed in Vizcay and one year in prison for Amaya and Torres for the crime of sports corruption.
According to the Court, it has been proven that the convicts, members of the Osasuna board at the time, agreed to give priority to two former Betis players (Amaya and Torres) with 650,000 euros to encourage their victory against Valladolid on the day. 37 of the 2013-14 season and to be won in the Pamplona match on day 38.
Abuse of club funds
The magistrates consider that there are two very different sections in the facts: those referring to the economic management of the club, which include the crimes of misappropriation, forgery of documents and forgery of accounts, and those relating to sports corruption.
As for financial management, they understand that during the trial seasons the convicts made conscious use and abuse of club funds, through unjustified cash withdrawals and with cash withdrawals from store sales, ticket offices and season tickets. .
The total amount of fraud that has been proven amounts to 2,340,000 euros: 900,000 euros for the 2012-13 season and 1,440,000 euros for the 2013-14 season.
Forgery of contracts
Accounting falsifications, which were intended to square the accounts, are also considered proven. In the 2012-13 season the clearance was 900,000 euros and so went to real estate agents Cristina Valencia and Albert Nolla, who signed a receipt for this amount simulating non-existent real estate activities.
In the 2013-14 season the squaring of the club’s accounts amounted to 1,440,000 euros and this created a false contract with the Portuguese entity Flelfield (player image rights management) and three false invoices. The creation of these documents with the Portuguese entity took place when the board of directors had resigned and there was a management board. The chamber considers that it was Vizcay who created the same documents to square the accounts for this season and thus obtain the favorable report of the audit.
Maquirriain’s acquittal for the crime of misappropriation is based on the lack of evidence that he actually knew the misappropriation of the 400,000 euros he moved from Pamplona to Seville and was used to pay the two Betis players.
Agreement with two Betis players
In relation to the crime of sports corruption, the sentence concludes that there was an agreement between the convicted board members and the club manager with the two Betis players for the matches against Valladolid and Osasuna. It was, therefore, a global agreement.
The court, which has already advanced the acquittal of Jordi Figueras, argues that there is no evidence to conclude that this player participated in the events. The sentence concludes that the criminal precept on which the conviction is based is article 286 bis, fourth section, of the Penal Code, which includes the so-called “premiums to third parties”.
Damage to other equipment
It is argued that offering money or profits to a club to win a match seeks its own advantage and also produces a number of concatenated effects such as the harm of other teams that depend on these results and the economic damage resulting from the bets or traverses.
Economic incentives from one third club to another to encourage a positive outcome influence competition, the magistrates conclude.
They also consider that the arguments that have been given in the trial to consider the penalties to third parties not criminally punishable are based on a social permissiveness that is independent of being provided as a crime.
The judgment recalls that the obligation of the athlete is not simply to “go out to win”, but to ensure that the sports result occurs in accordance with the previous rules mutually known and accepted, without external conditions not included in the rules governing sports discipline.