MENTAL SPANISH SPORTS PAPERS UPDATE

Former referee turns suspected drug kingpin

Spanish Div 2 ref does his best Scarface impression…

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A former Segunda Division referee has been arrested in Spain on suspicion of masterminding a national-scale drugs trafficking operation. Eduardo Perez Izquierdo was recently arrested with eight other suspects after police uncovered a massive cocaine haul in Madrid.

Izquierdo retired in the 2002/3 season after presiding over more than 100 league matches. However, instead of spending retirement with his feet up, bashing out angry responses to fan mail, the former ref is thought to have tried his hand at cocaine distribution, setting up a network of gangs throughout the Basque Country.

El Mundo Deportivo reports:

Some of the sources close to the investigation are assuring that the referee’s role in this was to coordinate the movements of all the operations undertaken by the gang in exchange for a commission.

A number of media reports are suggesting that, last week, the [Basque police force] working together with the Civi Guard intercepted a 4.5kilo shipment of cocaine in Madrid’s Barajas airport that is believed to be linked to this arrest.

It’s not the first time Spanish football has been embroiled in drug trafficking scandal. Earlier this year, former Atletico Madrid player José Luis Caminero was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a narcotic distribution and money laundering operation from which police seized 570 kilos of cocaine, seven luxury cars and more than €2m.

Spoiler bonus: Caminero is no stranger to drama. An infamous chant at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon stadium recounts the story of the ex-Spanish international being confronted in the changing rooms by team-mate, and infamously mental Argentinean hardman, Diego Simeone — who’d just found out Caminero was sleeping with his wife and had come, knife in hand, to ‘talk things over’.


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