3 former directors of Spanish soccer club Osasuna arrested in connection with missing millions



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MADRID — A former president of Spanish soccer club Osasuna and two other ex-board members were arrested Thursday on suspicion of being linked to irregularities in the club's accounts, the regional court of northern Navarra said.

Miguel Archanco, Txuma Peralta and Angel Vizcay were arrested by National Police and will likely have to appear before a judge within 24 hours.

All three are expected to remain in custody until Friday morning.

The arrests came as police investigate the disappearance of at least 2.4 million euros ($2,746,000) from the club's coffers between November 2013 and June 2014.

Current club director Pedro Baile Osasuna has acknowledged a government sports council audit last year uncovered an unaccounted-for payment made by the club.

Court number two of Pamplona, the capital of the province of Navarra — where the three are cited to give testimony — later confirmed it was also investigating Osasuna for match-fixing after Spain's Professional Football League filed a lawsuit.

This is the latest episode in a complex series of financial and match-fixing probes that Osasuna is facing.

In December, Spain's state prosecutor said then-Japan coach Javier Aguirre, Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, Atletico Madrid captain Gabi and 38 others had been named in an alleged case of match-fixing during an Osasuna-Espanyol game in the 2010-11 season.

Aguirre was coach of Espanyol for that match, and was fired from his post in charge of the Japan squad on Feb. 3, after the prosecutor's statement was released.

Aguirre denies any wrongdoing.

The European Union is also investigating whether government loan guarantees for seven Spanish clubs, including Osasuna, violate EU competition law designed to prevent businesses from enjoying unfair advantages through state intervention.

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