Cadiz were in a precarious position in the run-up to the 36th La Liga matchday, sitting in 18th place with 29 points. They were five points adrift of safety behind Celta Vigo, who had 34 points. In contrast, Sevilla were comfortably placed in 12th with 41 points. they had already secured their place in La Liga for the following season.

The stakes were high for Cadiz, making their away match against Sevilla crucial in their battle against relegation. Despite this, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side managed a 1-0 victory. The result only raised suspicions of match-fixing due to the Sevillistas’ lack of intensity, who ostensibly had little to play for.

Thus, Rayo Vallecano, who were also involved in the relegation fight, reported alleged suspicions of match-fixing to La Liga. Leaks they received, which suggested potential manipulation of the match’s outcome, only fueled suspicions. According to El Confidencial, La Liga promptly began summoning players who participated at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium to testify.

Mauricio Pellegrino manager of Cadiz
Mauricio Pellegrino manager of Cadiz

Mauricio Pellegrino manager of Cadiz

Suspicion of match-fixing has La Liga investigating

The match-fixing allegations are based on the apparent lack of effort from Sevilla. The report says that critics argue it may have facilitated Cadiz’s victory. The timing of the goal—scored by Sergi Guardiola in the 96th minute—further raised doubts. The investigation is still in its early stages, and details are sparse. However, player testimonies in the coming days are expected to shed more light on the situation.

Cadiz’s victory, despite being crucial, was not enough to save them from relegation. The Limoneros remained 18th at the end of the season. The match’s outcome, however, has broader implications for the integrity of the league.

The reported match-fixing could have unfairly influenced the relegation battle. It could have thus affected multiple teams including Celta Vigo, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca, and Las Palmas, who were all closely monitoring the situation.

Rayo Vallecano’s proactive approach in reporting the alleged match-fixing highlights the seriousness of the allegations. With the investigation underway, La Liga and relevant authorities are expected to delve deep into the events surrounding the match to ensure that the sport remains fair and competitive.

2021-22 La Liga season with 99% match-fixing-free record

During the 2021-22 season, La Liga last examined 7,809 matches and found that 99% of them were clean of match-fixing. This information was published in 2022. Cases reported to La Liga have dropped by a third in the last five years; from 39 in the 2017-18 season to 13 in 2021-22. This substantial reduction underscores the effectiveness of the league’s dedicated efforts and the robustness of its integrity program.

“We have detected that 99% of the matches have been clean and free of match-fixing, which is excellent news that shows the current good health of Spanish football. The decrease in the number of cases has been striking since the implementation of LaLiga’s Programme against sporting corruption, which is an international benchmark”, said Florentino Villabona, Director of Integrity and Security of La Liga.

Meanwhile, Ignacio Arbea, Head of Integrity at La Liga added: “Sports rigging and corruption are at the forefront of the issues that most concern clubs and fans. Its control and reduction has helped to make a leap in Fair Play and competitiveness not only in professional competitions but also across the entire ecosystem of Spanish football.”

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