Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera could face jail time after the being named in a 41-man list including coaches, directors and other players for a match fixing investigation back in Spain.
It has been alleged that the players of Spanish club Levante were paid a total of one million euros to lose their league game against Real Zaragoza on the final day of the 2010-11 season, a fixture that the Aragonese needed to win to avoid relegation, which they eventually won 2-1.
According to the case filed by the prosecutor, Zaragoza’s President deposited the money into his players’ accounts, which was then withdraw by then manager Javier Aguirre and nine other players, including Herrera to pay to the opposition’s players as bribes.
The Spanish international, who played for Zaragoza before he joined Athleltic Bilbao in 2011 and then Manchester United in 2014, has been named along with then teammate and now Atletico Madrid skipper Gabi and Swansea City winger Jefferson Montero, who played for the Frogs.
But the 25-year-old has denied any involvement in match fixing, and insists that he is ready to prove his innocence in the whole matter.
“I have never had and will never have anything to do with manipulating match results”, Herrera wrote on his Facebook page.
“If I am ever called to testify in any judicial hearing, I’ll be happy to attend, as my conscience is clear.
“I love football and I believe in fair play, both on and off the pitch”, the player added.
If the case goes on to Court for a legal hearing, all those proven guilty could face a punishment of six months to four years in jail. They can also be banned from playing football from anywhere between one year to six years which could potentially mark the end of the career for some of the players. They could also be fined up to €5.5 million.