La Liga prosecutors wants Manchester United’s star Ander Herrera jailed for match fixing as they demand a four-year prison term which they don’t want to be suspended.
The Manchester United Midfielder was hit with a new setback on Monday after it was discovered the prosecutors wants him jailed for the match fixing crime.
Spanish state prosecutors said they wererequesting a a two-year prison sentence and six-year ban from soccer for the midfielder and the other 35 players involved 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.
Respected papers including Valencia-based daily Las Provincias said the four-year prison demands — the maximum sentence possible — were part of the indictment La Liga lawyers have lodged with Valencia’s Court of Instruction Number Eight.
The indictment is also understood to call for the same six-year worldwide soccer ban the state wants them hit with if the footballers including Herrera are convicted at a trial expected to take place at the end of this year or the start of next.
Deportivo La Coruna, the team which was relegated as a result of Zaragoza’s 2-1 away win against Levante, has yet to submit its indictment.
Sources at the club said they were unable to say when its lawyers would lodge their formal accusation in writing.
Under Spanish law lawyers for the club and La Liga can prosecute the footballers in the same courtroom as part of cases that run parallel to the state prosecution.
It is customary practice for lawyers leading parallel prosecutions to the state one to demand stiffer penalties.
La Liga press officers had yet to make an official comment on Monday afternoon.
Asked earlier this month about the reopening of the long-running case into alleged match-fixing, a La Liga spokesman said: ‘La Liga doesn’t comment on stories published in the press.
‘If we were make to an official comment, we would do it through the normal channels.’
Newspaper Las Provincias said La Liga lawyers are also demanding fines for the footballers of €2.9million (£2.56m) each — more than the £1.7m 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 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.