At the present, Spain is the unquestioned leader in world soccer – with the best clubs and national team and the best players plying their trade in Iberian peninsula. Even so, the health of the Spanish game might not be as pristine as it looks to the rest of the planet.
That was clear from shocking statements made by Javier Tebas, vice president of LFP, Spain’s professional soccer league.
“In Spain there has been match-fixing,” Tebas said, in an interview with Onda Cero, a Spanish radio program. Despite the allegation, he admitted that he didn’t have concrete proof.
“In reality one is conscious that match fixing exists, but it has to be proven legally,” he added.
The La Liga vice president when on to say that efforts were on the way to expose the corruption.
“We are trying to expose the cheats because they exist, and if there is a single one, for me that is a scandal. In our soccer we can go through what they have gone through in Italy,” he said.
The high ranking official also talked about other challenges and criticisms facing the league including the alleged preferential treatment given to Barcelona and Real Madrid and declining attendance across the league.
“Barcelona will also have to play at noon this season. If the big teams don’t start playing once or twice a month in the morning, the Southeastern Asian Market is going to start resisting us significantly,” he said.
Tebas also said that declining attendance was not a function of starting times but of the country’s current economic crisis.
“I think the politics of (ticket) prices of many clubs should change. In any event, there is only a 3.5 percent decrease in attendance for First Division teams compared to last year. In the Second Division, it’s an 8 percent decline, “ he said.