Madrid (Spain), June 8 (IANS) Osasuna’s place in next season’s Conference League is in doubt after the club from Pamplona became the subject of an investigation from UEFA over a match-fixing scandal. Osasuna booked their first appearance in European football since 2007 with a 2-1 win over Girona last weekend to ensure a seventh place in La Liga. However, a scandal from 10 years ago could see them kicked out of Europe, with their place given to Athletic Bilbao, who finished eighth.
In January 2023, Spain’s High Court, Tribunal Supremo, found Osasuna’s former Board of Directors guilty of misappropriation of funds, falsifying documents and sporting corruption in relation to a payment of 400,000 euros for Betis to beat Valladolid, who were fighting to avoid relegation along with Osasuna, and a further payment of 200,000 euros to Betis to lose in Osasuna’s El Sadar Stadium in the 2013-2014 season, reports Xinhua.
The Court also considered that Osasuna had made payments of 150,000 and 400,000 euros to Deportivo la Coruna and Getafe for them to lose in El Sadar the previous season.
This means Osasuna have broken rule 4.G of UEFA’s regulations, which state a club must “not have been directly and/or indirectly involved, since the entry into force of Article 50(3) of the UEFA Statutes, i.e. 27 April 2007, in any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level and confirm this to the UEFA administration in writing.”
Osasuna have issued a communique insisting that the Court finding was against members of the former Board of Directors and not the club itself which “could never have penal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes.”
Athletic Bilbao, who stand to benefit from Osasuna’s possible exclusion from Europe, have not made any comments.