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Eldense 12-0 loss to Barcelona B bears match-fixing 'hallmarks' - La Liga chief

Eldense lost 12-0 to Barcelona B at the Mini Estadi.

La Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed on Monday that the 12-0 score in Segunda B game will be investigated after Eldense's board of directors requested a probe into the possibility that match-fixing was involved.

The eastern Spanish side were crushed by Barcelona B at the Mini Estadi on April 1. Barcelona B were 8-0 up after 45 minutes and rattled in another four in the second half.

But since then claims have emerged that players on the visiting team threw the game, while the board announced all sporting activity would be suspended and ties with a group of Italian investors cut.

"We are going to look into it because the Eldense board have asked us to and the result at half time was out of the ordinary," Tebas told reporters in Spain on Monday. "We're going to investigate because there are certain collateral issues with an Italian investment group that bear the hallmarks of the possible involvement of an international betting ring with a view to match-fixing."

A spokesman for the investment group, Jose Miguel Esquembre, said: "The board does not have the capacity to suspend the activity of CD Eldense. The managers have set up a meeting on Monday with the first team to explain the current situation and prepare for the final stages of the competition."

The result, which was a joint record score for the Segunda B division, sealed their relegation with six games of the season left to go. Extremadura thrashed Portuense by the same score in 1993.

Eldense player Cheikh Saad spoke to Spanish radio station RAC1, making allegations against a group of players in the squad and the coach.

"There are four players involved in match fixing. I don't care what happens, but when I can, I will give the names of these players," he said.

"Half an hour before playing the game against Barcelona B I was starting, but then I was out of the line up. They told a teammate this game was fixed and if he wanted to play he should not score goals. They didn't ask me as they knew what my answer would be. The coach knew something, I'm sure, and the players too.

"The coach told me to come on and I told him I did not want to. I also told my teammates on the bench that they shouldn't go out on to the pitch if they didn't want their names to be stained."

Saad explained that Barcelona B had nothing to do with the alleged match-fixing.

"They are not involved in any way," he said. "They did what they had to do, score goals. If it had been me I would have done the same."

Eldense's chairman of the board, David Aguilar told RAC1 that he would also speak to Spanish police to find out if there was the basis for a criminal investigation into the alleged events.

Barcelona B players were seen consoling Eldense players after the game, some of whom were in tears. Barcelona B lead their regional group of the third division.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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