One of the footballers arrested for match-fixing has spoken about the night the suspects spent in jail as he protests his innocence.
Recently-retired former Valladolid captain Borja Fernandez, 38, was one those arrested in the police operation against match-fixing in Spanish professional football.
He was arrested as police suspected a meeting between Fernandez and former Leeds United loanee Raul Bravo before the La Liga match between Valladolid and Valencia on 18th May could have been used to fix the match.
Reports now suggest that investigators in ‘Operation Oikos’ do not have much evidence against Fernandez and he told Spanish sports newspaper Marca: “I feel backed up. Since the beginning, I knew there couldn’t be anything against me, but I have been defamed a lot and lots of things about me that were not true have been said.”
Speaking about his arrest he said: “My alarm had just gone off as I was travelling to Madrid to meet with (Valladolid President) Ronaldo. My daughter came into my room and she told me the police were there asking for me to come out. My first thought was of my wife who was working in Milan, I thought something had happened to her.
“But when I saw how many officers there were I calmed down. I knew nothing had happened to anyone in my family.”
He says he was taken to a jail cell along with Raul Bravo and former footballer Carlos Aranda, the suspected head of the gang. Fernandez claims that when Aranda saw him in the cells, he turned to Bravo and said “what the f*ck is he doing here?” as they had not seen each other for “eight years”.
Fernandez and Bravo were among 11 people reportedly arrested during Operation Oikos. A statement from the National Police revealed that nine raids were carried out at properties throughout Spain.
Reports had named some of those detained as Samuel Saiz, 28, who is on-loan from Leeds United to Getafe, retired forward Aranda, 38, and Inigo Lopez Montana, 36, who plays for Deportivo La Coruna.
The investigation is ongoing.