Integrity in sport update: Gibraltar FA educates community in match-fixing

Weekly Media Recap 20-26 April 2015 published on 27 April 2015

Several developments in ongoing investigations have taken place this week. In Germany, Dutch man Paul R admitted to bribing players. In Spain, Javier Zabaleta, president of the board of directors of Osasuna, appeared before court to reiterate his innocence. And in the UK, Delroy Facey denied any match-fixing involvement, claiming to only have been ‘humouring’ a betting syndicate.

Additionally, a serious allegation has been made by a magazine in Taiwan, which accuses Lin Chang-Yi, former chairman of Taiwan’s Chinese Taipei Football Association(CTFA)  of engaging in match-fixing. The CTFA has strongly denied the allegation, with Team Taiwan’s head coach and several national team members appearing in an emergency press conference.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Germany

A Dutch national who is suspected of fixing football matches has told a court in Germany he had bribed players from German club Sankt Pauli and then bet on the outcome via Asian betting agencies. Paul R is appearing in court along with three other suspects: former Sankt Pauli players René Schnitzler and Bjorn Brunneman and a middle man. Paul R was extradited to Germany in January and is suspected of involvement in large-scale match-fixing in 2008 and 2009. He is also considered to be a central figure in an international match-fixing ring.

Source: "Dutchman admits fixing football matches in German court", 22 April 2015, Dutch News, https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/04/dutchman-admits-fixing-football-matches-in-german-court/

Spain

Javier Zabaleta, president of the board of directors of Osasuna who was indicted with misappropriation, corporate crime, forgery, and bribery charges last week (all of which refer to match-fixing) made his declaration before a judge on Tuesday at Pamplona. He also made some statements to reporters in which he reiterated his innocence. Judge Fermín Otamendi is investigating the alleged irregularities committed at the club under Miguel Archanco’s mandate between 2012 and 2014.

Source: "Zabaleta, expresidente de la junta gestora, declara como imputado por el 'caso Osasuna'", 21 April 2015, EFE, https://www.sport.es/es/noticias/futbol/zabaleta-expresidente-junta-gestora-declara-como-imputado-por-caso-osasuna-4118833

Taiwan

Quoting unidentified sources, the Chinese-language Next Magazine accused Lin Cheng-yi, the former chairman of Taiwan's Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) of allegedly engaging in a match-fixing scandal. The report said Lin has been engaged in illegal underground sports betting and placed huge bets on the result of a game between Taiwan and Brunei on March 12. Most bettors wagered that Taiwan could win the game. Lin, however, bet on Taiwan losing the match, the report claimed. The national team ultimately lost the matchup 0-1. To make sure the outcome of the game favored him, Lin asked Taiwan's coaching staff to bench naturalized player Chu En-le, the report said, claiming Lin won over NT$40 million from the illegal betting. The report further alleged that prosecutors are now probing the case. Lin is currently being held in detention on a separate case after he was accused of fraud. In response to the accusation, the CTFA on Wednesday strongly denied the allegation. In an emergency press conference, Team Taiwan's head coach Chen Kuei-jen and several national team members jointly denied the accusation.

Source: "Thorough probes to clear soccer match-fixing scandal", 25 April 2015, The China Post, https://www.chinapost.com.tw/editorial/taiwan-issues/2015/04/25/434395/p2/Thorough-probes.htm

United Kingdom

Former Baggies striker Delroy Facey told a court he “humoured” a betting syndicate who wanted him to fix non-league football matches for cash. Giving evidence in his match fixing trial, Facey explained away conversations with members of the syndicate saying he knew something was wrong and had been using them for entertainment. It is alleged Facey was trying to find non-league players who would take bungs to fix matches. He was arrested as part of a National Crime Agency Swoop in November 2013. Text, WhatsApp and Skype messages all show Facey had been connected to syndicate ring-leaders Chann Sankaran and Krishna Ganeshan. Facey admitted he had faced financial problems in the past but denied any involvement in fixing matches. The NCA launched their probe after an investigation by a private investigator and a national newspaper uncovered evidence of match fixing. Sankaran from Singapore, and Ganeshan from East Sussex, were convicted last June at Birmingham Crown Court of conspiracy to commit bribery and jailed for five years.

Source: Matt Lloyd, "Delroy Facey tells jury he was 'humouring' syndicate who approached him about match fixing", 23 April 2015, Birmingham Mail, https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/delroy-facey-tells-jury-humouring-9105920

 

GOOD PRACTICE

Gibraltar

Over four million euros gambled on Gibraltar football matches in just one year have prompted the Gibraltar FA to educate the football community on the dangers of match fixing. The first of nine workshops focusing on the dangers of match fixing was held at the John Mackintosh Hall yesterday for members of local football clubs. Betting industry experts suggest that the figure will multiply by 30 times in the near future as Gibraltar progresses in its UEFA development and is given more television coverage. Louis Wink, Gibraltar FA Security and Integrity Officer, said “Gibraltar is at grave risk of match fixing. In one year we have seen over €4 million bet on the Gibraltar First Division and Cup matches. It could be a breeding ground for criminals.

Source: Mark Viales, "Spotlight on match fixing as millions gambled on Gib football", 24 April 2015, Gibraltar Chronicle, https://www.chronicle.gi/headlines_details.php?id=35825

 

ODDS AND ENDS

France

Nîmes Olympique president Christian Perdrier, main shareholder Rani Assaf and the two club lawyers have been summoned before the Appeals Committee of the French Football Association. They are hoping for the cancellation of the club's relegation and its maintenance in Ligue 2.To this purpose, they will insist that another executive team was at the head of the club at the time of the suspected matches, claiming that it is necessary to separate the responsibility of the club from that of the former directors. Serge Kasparian, former main shareholder, and Jean-Marc Conrad, former president, have both been individually sanctioned.

Source: Zakaria Soullami, "Matchs présumés truqués: le Nîmes Olympique jugé en appel le 7 mai", 23 April 2015, France TV, https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/languedoc-roussillon/2015/04/23/matchs-presumes-truques-le-nimes-olympique-juge-en-appel-le-7-mai-710669.html

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Algeria

The Disciplinary Commission of the Algerian Football League announced the sentence on Thursday to ban Mohamed Amine Rezgane of all functions and activities in relation to football. The assistant referee was found guilty of a match-fixing attempt in the match between CS Constantine and NA Hussein Dey. Rezgane has been criticized for not having alerted the Algerian football authorities of the phone contact he had with the members of the NAHD club, including President Kamel Saudi. Saudi has also been suspended as a precautionary measure and is expected to testify on April 27th, having missed his hearing before the members of the League.

Source: "Algerie: Un arbitre assistant radie pour corruption", 24 April 2015, Afrik Foot, https://www.afrik.com/algerie-un-arbitre-assistant-radie-pour-corruption

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