Investigation Shows Chinese Mafia Could Have Influenced Levante-Deportivo Match
The suspected match-fixing in the La Liga game between Levante and Deportivo "is still alive," according to José Félix Díaz of EL CONFIDENCIAL. The open investigation into the matter is continuing, with "everything now indicating that the case is related to different Chinese mafias that use bets on athletic events to strengthen their positions and economies." The Chinese mafias used former Spanish and Chinese football players "who were charged with contacting Levante players to shape the money bet, and the case is now in the Anti-Corruption Office." The case was discovered by the authorities because of the large amount bet on an unusual result like a 3-0 lead at halftime, more unusual when the winning team is almost relegated. This fact activated the alarms of the police and of betting houses, which are the starting point to investigate suspected fixed results. Three of the implicated Levante players "have not worn the club shirt since. Sergio Ballesteros, Juanlu Gómez and Gustavo Munúa have disappeared from the team's 11 on club orders, while Juanfran Garcia has had physical problems" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 5/20).