Japan coach Aguirre denies involvement in Spain match-fixing charges

Japan coach Aguirre denies involvement in Spain match-fixing charges
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Published December 27th, 2014 - 18:40 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Javier Aguirre
Javier Aguirre

Japan national football coach Javier Aguirre on Saturday strongly denied any involvement in match-fixing allegations in Spain.

"I worked in Spain for 12 years and have never done anything unethical or unprofessional," Aguirre told a news conference.

The Mexican spoke to the media for the first time since Spanish prosecutors named him among 41 individuals earlier this month in a report into the alleged rigging of a La Liga game in 2011.

Aguirre was manager of Real Zaragoza when the team beat Levante 2-1 away at the end of the 2011 season, avoiding relegation to the second tier.

"I have never been given gifts by anybody and never expected them. I will cooperate with prosecutors and defend myself until the end," he said.

Aguirre, who took up the current post in August, could be asked to appear in Spain if the complaint is accepted by a Valencia court and a full-scale investigation is opened.

Last week, the Japan Football Association (JFA) decided that Aguirre will remain in charge for the upcoming Asian Cup in January despite his alleged involvement in the scandal.

"While the Asian Cup is going on I will be thinking about nothing except winning the championship. I will not waste a minute thinking about anything else," Aguirre stressed.

Prosecutors in Spain alleged that the Levante players were paid a total of 965,000 euros to deliberately lose the game.

Aguirre said he had no intention of stepping down as Japan coach.

He also coached Mexico at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups and led the team to the knock-out stage each time. He replaced Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, who stepped down following Japan's poor World Cup results in Brazil.

"I hope this becomes clearer over time and the situation will be calm. I am as surprised about this as everyone," Aguirre said.

© 2014 dpa GmbH

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