Several soccer players in Spain have been arrested for suspected match-fixing, the league said yesterday. The Spanish league said the arrests were carried out by the National Police as the result of an investigation it instigated. The league said it contacted authorities about possible match-fixing involving a match in May 2018, but it did not provide details about the teams or players involved. The league said during the 2018-19 season it informed police of eight suspected cases of “acts related to match-fixing in lower, non-professional divisions and international friendlies.” Spanish news agency Europa Press said two of the players arrested play for first-division teams, though none of the country’s top clubs were apparently involved. The league said it also “sent alerts” about 18 matches in which players possibly placed bets on the outcomes of games in lower and non-professional divisions. The league thanked the National Police for the “extraordinary work done to dismantle what appears to be an organized criminal group dedicated to obtaining economic benefits through the predetermination of soccer matches.”
Hockey: Finland, US, Russia in same group at 2020 worlds
The United States, Russia and defending champion Finland will join host Switzerland in an eight-team group based in Zurich at the 2020 hockey world championships. The International Ice Hockey Federation announced the groups yesterday, two days after Finland beat Canada in this year’s title game in Slovakia. Top-ranked Canada heads the other eight-team group, which also includes 2017 and ‘18 champion Sweden, in Lausanne. The venue is being built for the 2020 Youth Winter Olympics. The 2020 worlds will be played from May 8-24.
Tennis: No. 1 Naomi Osaka finally starts her French Open on Day 3
Naomi Osaka’s bid for a third consecutive Grand Slam title finally gets started on Day 3 of the French Open. The No. 1-seeded Osaka never has been past the third round in three previous appearances at Roland Garros. She carries a 14-match winning streak at majors ito today. The Japanese star plays 90th-ranked Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the second match on the Court Philippe Chatrier. Osaka won the U.S. Open last September and then the Australian Open in January. Also in first-round action are 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro and No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev. A quarterfinalist last year in Paris, Zverev plays John Millman in the first match on Chatrier. Del Potro plays Nicolas Jarry on Court Suzanne Lenglen.