Levante's Juanfran cooperating in 2011 La Liga match-fixing probe

Levante defender Juanfran said he is willing to cooperate with the reported match-fixing investigation into an end-of-season game between his club and Real Zaragoza in May 2011.

Widespread reports have said that more than 20 players and staff from both teams have been called to testify by Spain's anti-corruption authorities regarding a potential fix in the game -- which Zaragoza won 2-1 to gain three points and which saved the club from relegation that season.

According to El Pais, the investigators believe they have evidence that Zaragoza players were given 120,000 euros each by their club, with that money being then given in cash to their opponents after the game.

AS says the case is being taken in line with attempts by La Liga authorities and Spanish government to stamp out the previously accepted (in some quarters) practices of paying 'incentive payments' and agreeing results in advance when relegation matters are being decided.

Under the legislation, jail terms of six months to four years are possible, but more likely are individual players, coaches or club officials found guilty being banned from the game for one to six years. The clubs involved are not expected to face sanctions such as points deductions or forced relegations even if past illegal behaviour is proven.

Other investigations have reportedly been opened into games involving both Levante and Zaragoza, including Levante's 4-0 Primera Division home defeat by Deportivo La Coruna in April 2013 and a Getafe v Zaragoza fixture also towards the end of the 2012-13 season.

Levante club captain Juanfran told AS that he was not worried about the reports, however all the accusations were getting "a bit tiresome."

"The judge has decided it was appropriate to call the squads and that is where we are," Juanfran said. "I suppose these things will have to happen and come out. We are very relaxed, or at least I am. I believe there is no reason to say absolutely anything -- everyone saw it was a normal game. As we have said many times, we all have a clear conscience. I'll go wherever they ask me, but all this is getting a bit tiresome."

Levante have released a club statement saying they was unaware of any wrongdoing, but would collaborate with the authorities.

"The club is completely unaware about the behaviour reported," it said. "The club is fully disposed to collaborate with the investigation in everything considered necessary. The board will take at all times the decision it deems necessary to defend the club."

Zaragoza also issued a similar statement: "Real Zaragoza wishes to communicate that it is completely unaware of any circumstance connected to the investigations begun after the game. At the same time the club has put itself at the disposition of the authorities and will collaborate with all matters it is asked to."

Elche's game at Malaga in gameweek 36 of the 2013/14 season, in which Elche won 1-0 to move close to safety, could also be under investigation, according to AS.

Elche have issued a club statement, saying it had not been informed of any investigation, and would collaborate if asked to.

"Elche wishes to state that the club has not been officially informed about the supposed investigation, and is unconnected and unaware of the behaviour which has been attributed to it," their statement said. "That club remains at the disposition of the authorities and will collaborate in everything necessary with the goal of clearing up completely these reports."