Friday, November 26

The Labor Inspectorate and the Civil Guard are investigating a dozen football clubs for “fraud”

The Labor and Social Security Inspectorate and the Civil Guard have started this Wednesday a series of inspections in different football clubs that have been active in Second B in recent years with the aim of obtaining documentary information that could reveal possible crimes of fraud to the Social Security and other offenses related to the use of undeclared money committed by sports entities, leaving professional athletes in a situation of vulnerability.

The director of Labor and Social Security Inspection, Carmen Collado, confirmed this Wednesday in Valencia that “10 clubs have been visited that still cannot be identified because the investigation is in a very initial phase and it is about controlling possible fraud in the Social Security contribution “.

These actions in Algeciras, Cádiz, Alicante, La Rioja, Salamanca, Badajoz, Murcia and the Balearic Islands are framed in the fight against corruption in sports and fraud, due to the fact that a general problem was detected in the use of undeclared money in the world of soccer and especially in the clubs of the old Second B and the third division. For this reason, a campaign has been started to eradicate this practice and especially Social Security fraud. Calahorra, Hércules, Salamanca, Mérida, UD Extremadura, Cartagena, Atlético Sanluqueño, Atlético Baleares or La Nucía would be some of the clubs from which documentation has been requested.

The action began as a result of a letter addressed to the Royal Spanish Football Federation and signed by eleven Second B clubs in 2020, which denounced the comparative injury that it entailed for the teams that legally paid their players and traded duly to Social Security. As a result, the National Anti-Fraud Office in collaboration with the specialists in economic crimes of the Civil Guard began a campaign to detect the commission of possible crimes of Social Security fraud committed by different clubs.

This practice, on the one hand, causes an impairment to the Social Security System since less money is entered than would correspond for the contributions of its footballers and, on the other hand, it generates great damages to the footballers themselves, since they are deprived of their rights to social security due to their employment relationship with the clubs.

From the moment they became aware of this practice, the researchers made contacts with different agents from the world of football to verify the veracity of the facts that were revealed in said letter and that seemed normalized and highly accepted by most of the clubs.

Within the framework of this investigation, after a meeting of the Royal Spanish Football Federation with all the presidents of football clubs of the 2nd B and 3rd Division that took place in November 2019 and, which is publicly accessible on the Internet, was key to dimension the magnitude and normalization of the problem.

Coordinated inspections

As a result of the verification of the normalization of the phenomenon, a campaign was prepared to combat this practice. This type of coordinated inspections in the fight against fraud are standardized and are usually carried out jointly between the Provincial Labor and Social Security Inspections and the Civil Guard, in labor areas in which it is expected that there could be crimes of fraud against Social Security and against workers.

In this specific case, it has also acted in the development of the fight against corruption in sport throughout the national territory. In this way, the National Office for the Fight against Fraud and the Civil Guard intend to collaborate in the eradication of this illegal practice that damages fair competition in the world of sport, as well as the rights of workers in this area.

The actions have been coordinated by the Department of Criminal Analysis of the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard together with the National Office for the Fight against Fraud, with the participation of the Organic Units of the Judicial Police of Algeciras, Cádiz, Alicante, La Rioja, Salamanca, Badajoz, Murcia and the Balearic Islands.

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