Soccer Coach Arrested After 12-0 Loss Sparks Match-Fixing Investigation in Spainish Third Division

Filippo Vito di Pierro of Italy was detained by police on Monday.

Filippo Vito di Pierro of Italy was detained by police on Monday.

Boy, when they decide to fix a soccer match in Spain, they do not mess around.

Police in Spain have arrested Filippo Vito di Pierro, coach of third tier Spanish soccer club CD Eldense, after his squad lost 12-0 on Saturday at the hands of Barcelona B, the reserve team of Spanish soccer superpower FC Barcelona.

That is not a typo. Eldense conceded 12 goals and scored none. They trailed 8-0 at halftime.

Following the humiliating loss, which sealed Eldense’s relegation to the fourth division, club president David Aguilar announced that the remainder of the season was cancelled and asked authorities to investigate whether the match was fixed.

One of the team’s players accused three teammates and one coach of conspiring to fix the match.

Cheikh Saad, a 26-year-old forward from Mauritania in Eastern Africa, came forward immediately after the match.

“I have received threats not to reveal the names of those involved but I don’t care,” Saad told a Spanish radio station. “There were four that were involved and I have given the names to the police.”

Saad said he suspected something was amiss when he did not start the match.

“As we sat on the bench and we saw the score of 5-0 after 15 minutes, we realized that something strange was going on,” Saad explained. “The coach told me to warm up and I told him I don’t want to because I didn’t want to play. I knew something was going on. I told the other bench players not to warm up because it was clear the game was fixed. I wanted those players that had started and fixed it to be the ones to finish the game in shame.”

The whistleblower also said he saw Aguilar get into an argument with di Pierro at halftime.

“[Aguilar] had words with the coach, calling him a scoundrel because it was evident that something was going on. I listened to an audio recording that some people showed me after the game and it revealed that certain players had made bets to lose.

“In that recording, it stated that there would be eight goals at half-time and then the result in the second half. The police have that recording.

“We are talking about big amounts [of money],” Saad continued. “They would not have earned that amount in their whole lives playing in this division. Apparently, it has not been the first game this season where that has happened.”

The coach Saad accused of fixing the match is Fran Ruiz Casares. However, on Monday police detained Filippo Vito di Pierro and siezed the Italian’s passport.

The lesson here? If you’re going to fix a match, be a little more discrete. Don’t have a bunch of players bet that it will be 8-0 at halftime.

Or maybe just don’t fix matches at all.

Yeah, let’s go with that.

Hat Tip – [ESPN FC]

Tags: FC Barcelona, La Liga, match-fixing scandal, Soccer, spanish soccer league,