Integrity in Sport: Cyprus' FA announce top tier league is likely plagued by match-fixing
Weekly Media Recap 29 December 2014 - 4 January 2015
Giuseppe Giannini is among the 104 people charged around Gallipoli’s 2008-09 Lega Pro campaign. The Naples investigation claims figures within the club were linked with the Contini clan. The charges include sporting fraud, working with the mafia and money laundering.
In another development, a match played between Nimes and Istres in April 2014 is under suspicion for match-fixing. An intermediary allegedly asked one of the Istres players to play poorly and offered him a contract with Nimes in the following season. Both individuals denied the allegations.
Costakis Koutsokoumnis, the president of Cyprus' Football Association announced that the top tier league is likely plagued by match-fixing, after evidence provided by UEFA on 17 different matches suggested the issue. Koutsokoumnis, who claims that his football association has done more to eliminate match-rigging scandals than any other association in Europe, noted that the suspected matches involved teams that were facing relegation over the last three seasons. International referee Marios Panayi acused high ranking officials of the Cypriot First Division of pulling strings earlier in the month, which prompted a police probe of the CFA offices along with UEFA's investigation. The Cypriot First Division reduced from 14 to 12 teams this season. Anorthosis Famagusta FC, currently in the sixth and final promotion spot, released a statement calling for the immediate resignation of Koutsokoumnis.
Source: Igor Mello, "Cyprus FA president admits league likely plagued by match-fixing", 2 January 2015, CBSSports,https://www.cbssports.com/general/eye-on-sports/24930964/cyprus-fa-president-admits-league-likely-plagued-by-match-fixing
Minister of Justice Ionas Nicolaou pledged that police will conduct an effective and transparent investigation into mounting allegations of match-fixing in football. Speaking to the media, Nicolaou confirmed that that the Legal Services are currently examining the case evidence accumulated so far before instructing police on how to proceed with the investigation. “There should be no doubt that the police will fully investigate these allegations and collect the necessary evidence before the case is brought before the courts.” The minister also questioned the purpose of the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) appointing an independent committee to probe the match-fixing allegations when the case is already being handled by the police. “I must wonder how a committee will be able to help with the police investigation and I urge the CFA to reconsider.” Nicolaou instead called on the CFA and football club officials to assist with the probe by cooperating with police investigators.
Source:"Minister pledges visible match-fixing probe", 2 January 2015, incyprus.philenews, https://incyprus.philenews.com/en-gb/local-news/4422/43749/minister-pledges-visible-match-fixing-probe
The Ligue 2 match played between Nimes and Istres in April 2014 is under suspicion for alleged match-fixing. Istres football club informed the Professional Football Ligue (LFP) and the French prosecutor that an intermediary, allegedly Abdelnasser Ouadah, approached then Istres player, Cyril Jeunechamp to play poorly against Nimes in exchange for a contract with the club the following season. Jeunechamp refused the offer. Nimes won the match 1:0. Jeunechamp was expelled at the 87th minute for a second yellow card. Henry Cremades, manager of the club since 2013, stated that at the time he didn’t notice any suspicious behavior but looking back there may have been suspicious elements in the game. The other Nimes matches under suspicion took place in April and May 2014 and were played against the six following teams: Bastia, Dijon, Brest, Laval, Caen and Creteil.
Source: Arnaud Hermant, "Ligue 2 : le match Nîmes-Istres truqué lui aussi ?", 2 January 2015, Le Parisien, https://www.leparisien.fr/sports/football/football-le-match-nimes-istres-truque-lui-aussi-02-01-2015-4414447.php
Following the release of information suggesting that Cyril Jeunechamp was approached by Abdelnasser Ouadah to fix the Nimes-Istres match, Jeunechamp has come out publicly to deny the allegations. He claims that his friend Ouadah called to inform him that the owners of Nimes could be interested in him joining the club the following season. Jeunechamp claims he replied that he will finish his current contract in June and then consider the proposal. The conversation ended and at no point did the two players discuss match-fixing. Abdelnasser Ouadah also denied the allegations. He claims he only called to inform Jeunechamp that Nimes could be interested in him.
Source:"Nîmes-Istres, le démenti de Jeunechamp", 2 January 2015, Canal Plus, https://www.canalplus.fr/c-sport/c-football/c-ligue-2/c-news-ligue-2/cid1191676-nimes-istres-le-dementi-de-jeunechamp.html
Lebanon Coach Giuseppe Giannini is among 104 people charged with sporting fraud around Gallipoli’s 2008-09 Lega Pro campaign. The Naples investigation, code name Aracne, claims figures within the club were linked with the Contini clan. Coach Giannini, director of sport Luigi Dmitri and Salvatore Righi are all accused of giving EUR50,000 to several Real Marcianise players to throw the last game of the season. That 3-2 result allowed Gallipoli to secure promotion into Serie B. Giannini is accused of sporting fraud, whereas others in the huge investigation face charges of working with the Mafia and money laundering. The trial is due to start on February 17. Giannini was the Coach of Gallipoli at the time and is most famous as captain of Roma in the 1980s and 90s. He is currently the Coach of the Lebanon national team. Lega Pro is the new name for Serie C, the third tier in Italian football.
Source:"Giannini in Match-Fixing Trial", 3 January 2015, Football Italia, https://www.football-italia.net/60667/giannini-match-fixing-trial
Bangkok police authorities have been rocked by news of corruption and bribery relating to betting on football. Four police officers turned themselves in after receiving charges of taking bribes from a gambling network run by the Abubakar bin Sulaiman gang. The four police officers are among the fourteen suspects wanted on bribery and corruption charges. Nine of the fourteen suspects are thought to be police officers. The charged police officers have been accused of taking bribes from a football betting criminal syndicate, after evidence was uncovered in the ongoing criminal case against criminal leader Abubakar bin Sulaiman. According to reports, further arrests are expected in the coming weeks while several Bangkok police officers have been suspended from work due to their potential involvement with the corrupt officers and their operations.
Source: Ted Menmuir, "Bangkok rocked by police football corruption charges", 30 December 2014, SBC,https://www.sbcnews.co.uk/retail/2014/12/30/bangkok-rocked-by-police-football-corruption-charges/
ODDS AND ENDS
Lierse football club has suffered two 6-0 defeats against Charleroi Sporting and FC Bruges. The team is currently at the bottom of the championship. The attitude of the players during the games, more than the score itself, led to questions about possible match-fixing. However no suspicious activity has been signalled. Thomas De Gredt, member of the Belgian Football Association, said that in the case of any suspicious behaviour both the Belgian FA and UEFA are informed. In the case of Lierse, neither organisation has received any information suggesting the matches have been fixed. A few years ago, Lierse football club was at the heart of a match-fixing scandal which involved Chinese national Zehun Ye.
Source: "Soupçons de matches truqués au Lierse: "Rien n'a été signalé"", 29 December 2014, RTL Belgique,https://www.rtl.be/sport/football/football-belgique/soupcons-de-matches-truques-au-lierse-rien-n-a-ete-signale--687666.aspx
The management of Olmedo football club will file a complaint with the prosecutor in Riobamba after the Mexican website Deportes 7-24 posted information regarding the alleged manipulation of Olmedo’s relegation to Serie B. The information has since been removed from the website. The management of the club was reportedly surprised that some of the information posted matched what happened on the field during key games in which Olmedo lost points and which led to the relegation of the club. The priority according to one of the directors is to find the author of the information. The players involved in the complaint, such as Marco Mosquera, Mariano Mina and Robinson Sanchez, also want to obtain information regarding the identity of the journalist. Wladmir Ortiz, former manager of Deportivo Quito, allegedly involved in match-fixing in the national championship, announced he will initiate legal proceedings to ask for an investigation.
Source:"El supuesto amaño de partidos en Ecuador pasará a manos de la Fiscalía", 3 January 2015, El Comercio, https://www.elcomercio.com/deportes/futbol-amano-partidos-olmedo-deportivoquito.html
Paul Phua Wei-seng, the former Macau junket operator facing illegal bookmaking charges in Las Vegas, is assisting the Malaysian government in matters of national security and is not a member of Hong Kong’s 14k triad society, according to a letter written by Malaysia’s Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to Mark Giuliano, deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. The letter, marked “private & confidential”, was submitted to the United States District Court in Las Vegas by Phua’s defence team. Phua’s lawyers have consistently refuted the allegation that Phua has ties with Hong Kong’s organised crime groups. The allegation that Phua is a triad member is based on an FBI internal document previously submitted to the court, according to which Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) informed the FBI’s representative in Kuala Lumpur of his ties to the criminal organisation.
Source: Patrick Boehler, "Accused gambling kingpin Paul Phua 'assisting Malaysia on matters of national security'", 30 December 2014, South China Morning Post, https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1670674/accused-gambling-kingpin-paul-phua-not-triad-member-says-malaysia-cabinet
Uganda’s newly named FIFA Referees have been strongly cautioned against participating in sports betting. FUFA Referees’ Standing Committee Chairman, Sam Mpiima has warned the referees to desist from all forms of sports betting. “It is unethical for referees to participate in match fixing, betting and all acts contrary to the running of the game of football. All referees caught in the act will be seriously reprimanded.” Mpima remarked as he officiated at the FIFA badge handover ceremony held at FUFA House in Mengo. FIFA Medical and referees’ committee member, Dr James Ssekajugo congratulated the Ugandan FIFA referees and urged them to maintain the ethics and standards to serve football.
Source: David Isabirye, "FIFA Referees cautioned against Sports Betting", 31 December 2014, Kawowo, https://www.kawowo.com/index.php/football/item/20323-referees-cautioned-against-betting.html
- Tags: 2008-2009 Lega Pro | Anti-Corruption | Belgian FA | Belgium | Cyprus | Cyprus Football Association (CFA) | Ecuador | Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) | FIFA | FIFA Medical and Referees Committee | Football | France | FUFA Referees’ Standing Committee | INTERPOL | Italy | Ligue 2 | Malaysia | Match-Fixing | Professional Football League | Serie B | Serie C | Thailand | UEFA | Uganda
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