Spain to probe second match-fixing claim

MADRID - The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has asked state prosecutors to investigate an allegation that a match in the final round of the 2006-07 Primera Liga season was fixed.

Authorities are already looking into a match-fixing claim involving a second-division game at the end of last season, a 2-1 home victory for Malaga over Tenerife on June 15 which sealed the Andalucian side's promotion.

The second game to be probed is Athletic Bilbao's 2-0 home win over Levante on June 17, 2007 which saved the Basque club from what would have been the first relegation from the top division in its history.

Levante were safe on 42 points and finished 15th while Athletic ended one point above the relegation zone on 40 points ahead of Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad and Gimnastic Tarragona.

The match-fixing allegations were first made in the Spanish media, which published recordings and transcripts of conversations between players and club officials which it said pointed to foul play.

"Having heard through the media of events which could affect the purity of the competition, and taking into account that it could constitute criminal activity, the disciplinary committee have agreed to hand over the details to the office of the state prosecutor," the RFEF said in a statement on its website.

A spokesman for Athletic said the club had no immediate comment on the investigation. A Levante spokeswoman said the club also had no comment.