Tennis match fixing in Spain and Portugal leads to 34 arrests, including six players

It may not be on the same scale as Football Leaks, but a scheme to fix tennis matches in Spain and Portugal has led to 34 arrests, including six players.

Vowing the players are the victims in this scandal, investigators told AFP news agency that the scheme will have netted perpetrators around €500,000.

Spanish police “have found evidence of match-fixing attempts in at least 17 men’s tournaments”, AFP added.

For now, the players’ identities are being kept secret.

AFP says they are believed to be ranked between 800 and 1400 in the world, and were “featuring at Challenger and Futures events”, both in Spain (Seville, Huelva, Tarragona and Madrid) and Portugal (Porto).

The investigation began following a tip-off by a player to tennis’ anti-corruption body, the Tennis Integrity Unit.

A Spanish police spokesman told AFP that players were offered between €500 and €1000 to throw matches. “Sometimes they promised €500 and in the end only paid €50”, he added.

The players involved are described as being aged between 17 and 30.

The arrests were all made in Spain, says Spanish website Terra. Defendants so far rounded up are facing charges of fraud and conspiracy, and police say new names may come forwards.

María Jimenez of Madrid’s economic fraud unit explained: “We are looking for connections as we find the people involved and work out the level of manipulation. The essential has been the statements”.

[email protected]