Tuesday 23 October 2018

Manchester United's Ander Herrera set for court appearance in match-fixing scandal

Ander Herrera may stand trial over a contentious match back in 2011
Ander Herrera may stand trial over a contentious match back in 2011
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera could be set for a court appearance after a long-running match-fixing scandal took a fresh twist.

Herrera played for Real Zaragoza in a match against Levante back in 2011, which has been the subject of an extensive and long-running investigation by Spanish authorities.

The game ended in a 2-1 win for relegation threatened Zaragoza, keeping them in La Liga and condemning Deportivo La Coruna to relegation.

Prosecutors in Spain are investigating whether some of the Zaragoza players were party to a deal which allegedly saw cash payments made to Levante players in return for a favourable result.

Numerous players, as well as coaching staff at sporting directors of the two clubs could be called to explain why they received two large payments - reported to be £44,000 and £35,000 in Herrera's case - which he is then said to have immediately paid back to the club.

The allegations suggest that the returned cash was then handed over to Levante players, with Herrera issuing a statement reaffirming his stance that he had no involvement in any wrongdoing.

"As I stated back in 2014 when this issue was raised, I have never had and never will have anything to do with to do with manipulating match results," his statement read.

"If I am ever called to testify in a judicial hearing, I will be delighted to attend as my conscience is totally clear. I love football and I believe in fair play, both on and off the pitch."

A spokesman for Deportivo confirmed that the case had now been re-opened after initially being shelved, saying the fresh twist in the case was as a result of an appeal by the club.

Herrera's immediate availability for United will not be affected by the ruling, but he may have questions to answer later this year if a court date is confirmed.

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