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Javier Tebas: Truth must come out over La Liga match-fixing claims

Javier Tebas has said that 'the legal truth is getting closer to the real truth.'

La Liga president Javier Tebas has said he hopes justice will be done after the case of alleged match-fixing involving Levante and Real Zaragoza seven years ago was reopened.

A court in Valencia reopened the legal process against 41 individuals, including 36 players, last month.

The players include Ander Herrera, now at Manchester United, and Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez, both of whom were on the books of Zaragoza in 2011.

The court acted following an appeal by the anti-corruption authorities, La Liga and Deportivo La Coruna, who were relegated that season.

Prosecutors are requesting two-year prison sentences and six-year bans for anyone found guilty.

"The legal truth is getting closer to the real truth," Tebas told Marca. "I would not like it if they are found guilty, but the truth must come out."

Prosecutors believe there is evidence that Zaragoza paid €965,000 to 17 Levante players to lose the final match of the 2010-11 season in Valencia.

With Levante already safe, Zaragoza's 2-1 victory enabled them to avoid relegation and condemned Deportivo to the drop.

On July 31 last year, a judge in Valencia closed the case after a two-year investigation, ruling that while there was evidence that €965,000 had come out of Zaragoza's accounts, there was not enough to prove Levante players had been paid the money.

Tebas believes match-fixing took place and testified to that effect at a hearing in 2016.

Any six-year bans would be valid outside Spain, but it is unlikely those accused would face jail if found guilty because sentences of two years or less are often suspended if it is a first offence.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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