Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche has been named listed among the 42 players involved in the Zaragoza-Levante match-fixing case.
For the first time ever in Spain, a public prosecutor has filed a criminal complaint which includes the 18 players from Levante and Real Zaragoza selected for the May.
21, 2011 match, Real Zaragoza coach at the time Javier Aguirre, and Zaragoza’s chairman, as well as the club itself.
According to the report, the Zaragoza management and captains of the two teams, “with the consent of the rest of the players”, agreed to pay off Levante in return for the necessary win to stay in the Primera. Funds were transferred into bank accounts of some of the Zaragoza players, who then withdrew the money in cash and handed it to Levante players “in agreement with the other Zaragoza players involved in the match.”
It’s now up to the investigating judges to review this criminal complaint and choose to indict all, some, or none of the defendants. But there are some big names among the list – Javier Aguirre (now coaching Japan), Ander Herrera (Man Utd), Gabi (Atletico Madrid’s captain, and captain of Zaragoza at the time) and Nigerian striker Ikechukwu Uche who played the first 55 minutes before being substituted. The complete list of players named to the two squads includes Jefferson Montero, who was on loan to Levante at the time, as well as fellow Ecuadorian international Felipe Caicedo and ex-amarillo Javi Venta.