Spanish league suspects betting fraud over ‘phantom’ match

Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), the Spanish football league, has identified a suspected betting fraud involving a scheduled match that never took place.

The LFP said that the so-called ‘phantom’ match between Spanish club Ponferradina and Portuguese club Freamunde, which was scheduled to take place on Monday at 10:00am local time, never took place, according to the Reuters news agency.

The league added that betting irregularities were detected by Federbet, a non-profit organisation that tracks suspicious betting practices in sport.

“The LFP’s integrity unit contacted Ponferradina officials who confirmed that the supposed match never took place and that, therefore, it was a fraudulent manipulation of those who placed bets and the sports betting firms,” the LFP said.

“This is not a case of ‘match-fixing’ as such but is one of financial fraud and the LFP’s commitment to legal betting and the protection of clubs makes it obligatory to denounce this case publicly.”

The league added that it will be informing football’s European and global governing bodies, Uefa and Fifa, respectively, as well as the police.

In January, the league announced that it had set up a new anti-corruption unit in an effort to combat match-fixing and illegal betting, with Manuel Quintanar leading the division as director general.

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