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Integrity in sport update: Greece amends law to avoid international football ban

Weekly Media Recap 4-10 May 2015 published on 13 May 2015

This week, Czech club FK Banik Most asked their players to undergo a voluntary lie detector test after being concerned by the performance of some players during the game against FK Pardubice.

FIFPro recommended the players do not undertake the test while FIFA issued a statement saying that it welcomed all efforts to fight match manipulation within the legal framework of a particular country, but insisted the method of a lie detector is not part of FIFA’s ongoing integrity initiative.

In another development, 8 people were detained in Georgia for match-fixing. The detainees reportedly include the president of the football club Stu Tbilisi, one former football player, a representative of the betting firm IbtsBet, players of Football Club Kharagauli Ckherimela and two others. They are suspected of rigging matches in the national championship.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Georgia

Police in Georgia detained eight persons on Tuesday for match-fixing. Some of the detainees are football players. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the detainees include the president of the football club Stu Tbilisi, one former football player, a representative of the betting firm IbtsBet, players of Football Club Kharagauli Ckherimela and two others. Investigators determined that the detainees agreed with several teams in the national football championship to rig matches. The advance deals were paid for by amounts varying from 10,000 to 20,000 laris. After fixing the matches, bets were placed with online betting websites and the money that was won was shared among the accomplices. The case is being investigated as a crime that may be punished by four to six years in prison. Georgia’s Football Federation responded that it is cooperating with the ministry to find those who are involved in match-fixing.

Source: "Eight detained in Georgia for match-fixing", 5 May 2015, Dfwatch, https://dfwatch.net/eight-detained-in-georgia-for-match-fixing-35518

 

LEGISLATION

Greece

By amending a sports law according to UEFA and FIFA requirements, Greek football has warded off a ban from international competition. In a move to combat widespread violence and match fixing in Greek football, Greek deputy minister of sport, Stavros Kontonis, earlier this year proposed a new sports law to the Greek parliament. Named “Emergency measures for the confrontation of Violence in sports and other provisions”, the bill set out to allow the Greek state to sanction violent incidents with fines ranging from 10.000 to 25 million euros. The government would further be allowed to postpone or cancel sports events and to ban teams from participating in European competitions.

Source: "Law amendments save Greek football from international ban", 6 May 2015, playthegame, https://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2015/0035_greek-football-row/

 

ODDS AND ENDS

Australia

Sports data provider Sportradar has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to help safeguard the country’s sports from betting-related corruption. The agreement, signed by AFP deputy commissioner Graham Ashton and Sportradar’s managing director of strategy and integrity Andreas Krannich, formalises and strengthens processes for sharing information to help prevent organised criminal groups from infiltrating Australian sport.

Sportradar said the agreement builds on its existing support of European law enforcement, following the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, which seeks to remove barriers to information sharing on match-fixing and related issues.

Source: "Sportradar signs sports integrity partnership with Australian Police", 6 May 2015, Gaming Intelligence, https://www.gamingintelligence.com/legal/31691-sportradar-signs-sports-integrity-partnership-with-australian-police

Czech Republic

Czech club FK Banik Most asked their players to undergo a voluntary lie detector test after being concerned by the performance of some players during a game on April 26, in which they lost 4-0 to FK Pardubice and conceded all four goals in the first 30 minutes. The club have told Sky Sports News HQ that they have spoken to all their players, hired a detective company and will ask questions only to do with the match, as they hope to root out or absolve the club of any allegations of match fixing. A FIFA spokesman told Sky Sports News HQ on Wednesday the governing body welcomed all efforts to fight match manipulation within the legal framework of that particular country, but insisted the method of a lie detector is not part of FIFA’s ongoing integrity initiative. There are thought to be lie detectors being used successfully to fight match manipulation in other countries, with no objection from FIFA, but FIFPro does not endorse their use.

Source: "FIFA endorses lie detectors", 6 May 2015, Teamtalk, https://www.teamtalk.com/news/7555/9839000/FIFA-endorses-use-of-lie-detectors-to-root-out-match-fixing

France

Fifteen professional players are being investigated by the French Football League (LFP) for breaking anti-betting regulations, the LFP said on Wednesday. They added that there was no suspicion of match fixing and that 23 'educators' (staff members) were also under investigation for breaking the same rules. The regulations state that no player, referee or staff member is allowed to bet on "competitions organised by the LFP". In the 2013/14 season, 87 professional players were found guilty of betting offences by the LFP, with 37 of them being sanctioned with fines.

Source: Julien Pretot, "French League investigates 15 players for betting offences", 6 May 2015, Reuters, https://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/06/uk-soccer-france-gambling-idUKKBN0NR2JX20150506

Romania

Midfielder Stefan Barboianu, hailed as a hero only months ago, has had his contract terminated by Dinamo Bucharest after the club accused him of "helping" bitter rivals Steaua win Romania's biggest football fixture on Sunday. Only a few days after Steaua won 3-1 at the National Arena in their second clash this season, Dinamo showed Barboianu the door after blaming him for deliberately committing a foul in the penalty area 14 minutes from time to allow Nicolae Stanciu to score from the spot. "I know what Barboianu did, who he met with and how much he got for it," Dinamo owner Ionut Negoita told local media. "I'm still in shock!" Barboianu, who also plays as a right back, said after reaching "an amicable agreement" to leave the 18-times Romanian champions. The 1986 European Cup winners Steaua denied any wrongdoing and said they are considering taking legal action against Negotia following his statement.

Source: Angel Krasimirov, "Barboianu sacked by Dinamo Bucharest over match-fixing suspicions", 7 May 2015, Reuters, https://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/07/uk-soccer-romania-barboianu-idUKKBN0NS26N20150507

United Kingdom

Partick Thistle midfielder Steven Lawless faces a charge for allegedly breaching gambling regulations. The Scottish FA are yet to issue details of the case but the Glasgow club say that it is for "betting on football matches". "We are aware of the SFA's intention to issue a notice of complaint to Steven Lawless," read a club statement. Thistle go on to say "as a club we are in the process of conducting our own internal investigation". SFA disciplinary rule 33 prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world. Earlier this season, Rangers keeper Steve Simonsen was banned for two games after being found guilty of betting on 55 games.

Source: "Partick Thistle: Steven Lawless facing SFA gambling charge", 7 May 2015, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/32620693

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Denmark

A 28-year-old man was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence by a Danish court on Tuesday after being found guilty of fixing football matches involving second tier club Hvidovre. He was accused of serious fraud relating to three matches in 2010 involving Hvidovre. The man was found to have fixed games and betted on the results of those matches, while also sharing information with a syndicate in the Philippines. A co-defendant in what is believed to be Denmark's first match-fixing court case was found not guilty. Four former Hvidovre players are also suspected of having been involved, but the court has ordered that none of the names of the defendants should be made public. All have pleaded not guilty.

Source: Philip O'Connor, "Man handed suspended sentence in Danish match-fixing case", 6 May 2015, Reuters, https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/05/06/man-handed-suspended-sentence-danish-match-fixing-case

France

Following its relegation at the end of the season for involvement in the alleged match-fixing case in the Ligue 2, football club Nimes Olympique defended its case in front of the appeals high commission of the French Football Federartion (FFF). The commission postponed its decision for deliberation.

Source: "Nîmes Olympique: la décision de la commission supérieure d'appel de la FFF en délibéré ", 7 May 2015, L'Equipe, https://www.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Nimes-olympique-la-decision-de-la-commission-superieure-d-appel-de-la-fff-en-delibere/556789

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