Man United midfielder Ander Herrera was hit with a new setback last night after it emerged La Liga prosecutors want him jailed for FOUR years over an alleged match-fixing scandal should he be found guilty.
Spanish state prosecutors said they were demanding a two-year prison sentence and six-year soccer ban for the midfielder, who has denied any wrongdoing, and 35 other footballers in an indictment lodged with a court in Valencia earlier this month.
Two-year prison sentences for first-time offenders in Spain are normally suspended, meaning that if Herrera was convicted of sports corruption he would probably escape jail.
But on Monday it emerged lawyers for Spain’s top league, who have also launched legal action against the footballers involved in the under-suspicion May 2011 match between Herrera’s old side Zaragoza and Levante, were demanding stiffer penalties than the state lawyers if they are found guilty of sports corruption.
Newspaper Las Provincias said La Liga lawyers are also demanding fines for the footballers of EUROS 2.9 million (POUNDS 2.56 million) each – more than the POUNDS 1.7 million fines state prosecutors want them to pay if convicted.
The other footballers facing trial along with Herrera on a charge of sports corruption include Atletico de Madrid star Gabi, former Middlesborough striker Cristhian Stuani and Javi Venta, who ended his career at Brentford.
Zaragoza’s then-manager Javier Aguirre and ex-owner Agapito Iglesias are also being prosecuted.
Spanish anticorruption state prosecutors have claimed in their 17-page indictment cash paid to nine Zaragoza footballers including Herrera by the club was returned in cash so it could be handed over to the Levante players.
The state prosecutors claim they agreed to ‘lose’ the crunch May 21 2011 match and help their rivals avoid relegation once they received payment of EUROS 965,000 (POUNDS 852,000).
The suspect match between Zaragoza and Levante hit the headlines earlier this month after it emerged the case had been reopened following an earlier decision to shelve it after a lengthy investigation.