Integrity in Sport Update: Greek professional football league suspends games following violent attack of official

Weekly Media Recap 10-16 November 2014

Published 18 November 2014

Matches in the Greek professional soccer leagues have been suspended indefinitely following the violent attack on Christoforos Zografos, assistant director of the Central Refereeing Committee (KED). Zografos was beaten with wooden clubs by two men on a motorcycle in Western Athens. Olympiakos Piraeus president Evangelos Marinakis said he had vital information about the attack on Zografos which he would give to the police and Greek soccer chiefs.

In another development, allegations surfaced regarding the release of alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua. According to sources based in the US, Phua reportedly paid millions to Macau police in exchange for being freed from custody over an illegal gambling operation.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

International Cricket Council

Indian cricket was thrown into turmoil yesterday when the country's highest court said four top officials, including International Cricket Council chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan, might have been involved in corruption in the Indian Premier League. The Supreme Court said Srinivasan, his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, IPL chief executive Sundar Raman and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra were among those investigated by a panel appointed to look into the scandal. "We have seen the report and it did suggest some misdemeanour on part of certain individuals," the Press Trust of India quoted a two-judge bench as saying, without elaborating. "Certain findings recorded by the committee are understood to have indicted some individuals whose conduct has been investigated." The identities of the remaining nine people under investigation, most of whom are believed to be cricketers, will not be disclosed at this stage.

Source: "Allegations of corruption against ICC boss", 16 November 2014, AFP, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11359287

 

GOOD PRACTICE

Germany

The German government on Wednesday will unveil a draft bill that foresees jail terms and stiff fines for top athletes, coaches and managers who use or acquire banned substances, in an effort to crack down on drug users in elite sports. The draft bill will still need to be discussed in parliament and could be passed as early as next spring. It only targets top athletes, supported by state funds and on the national anti-doping agency's test pool and does not affect amateurs. Doctors or other individuals, procuring the substances, could face jail terms of up to 10 years as the entourage of the athletes is also moved more into focus. German sports officials welcomed the tougher sanctions included in the draft, saying fear of prison would be a major deterrent for doping offenders. Several other European nations, including Italy, Spain and France, have already passed similar laws.

Source: Karolos Grohmann, "Germany plans doping law with prison terms for offenders", 12 November 2014, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/12/us-doping-germany-idUSKCN0IW0N220141112?feedType=RSS&feedName=sportsNews

 

ODDS AND ENDS

European Commission

As part of the European Commission’s work on fighting match-fixing, two reports have been released. One examines what regulatory frameworks are in place and the other looks into how the reporting and sharing of information in the area are carried out. In their 'Study on risk assessment and management and prevention of conflicts of interest in the prevention and fight against betting-related match fixing in the EU 28', the Dutch ASSER Institute compares the regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks relating to risk assessment and conflict of interest management in the 28 member countries, with the aim of presenting best practice in the field. The second study, 'Study on sharing of information and reporting of suspicious betting activity in the EU 28', authored by Oxford Research and VU Amsterdam, focuses on regulation of information collection, storage and sharing in the EU member countries also including self-regulatory approaches led by the betting industry.

Source: "Two reports on betting-related match-fixing available", 11 November 2014, Play the Game, https://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2014/two-reports-on-betting-related-match-fixing-available/

Greece

Matches in Greece’s professional soccer leagues have been suspended indefinitely after a referees' committee official was admitted to hospital following a violent attack, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) announced on Friday. Police said that 45-year-old Christoforos Zografos, assistant director of the Central Refereeing Committee (KED), was beaten with wooden clubs in the early hours of Friday by two men on a motorcycle in the Kolonos area of Western Athens. Zografos, a former FIFA referee, works under retired Scottish referee Hugh Dallas, who was appointed head of the KED in the close season after continued pleas from Greek clubs for a foreign official to take on the administrative role following several match-fixing scandals in recent seasons. Olympiakos Piraeus president Evangelos Marinakis said he had vital information about the attack on Zografos which he would give to the police and Greek soccer chiefs and he called on all stakeholders in Greek football to put a stop to violence.

Source: Graham Wood, "Greek matches suspended after referees official attacked", 14 November 2014, Reuters, https://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/uk-soccer-greece-suspension-idUKKCN0IY29D20141114

Malaysia

Alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua purportedly paid millions to Macau police in exchange for being freed from custody over an illegal gambling operation, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported today. The allegation surfaced this Monday in the US, where Phua is facing trial over an illegal betting scheme during the football World Cup this July. Citing court documents, SCMP reported that US prosecutors are claiming that the Malaysian paid up to HK$5 million (RM2.16 million) to a Macau police officer after his June arrest there. Phua’s lawyer David Chesnoff denied the claims. The evidence that allegedly proved Phua’s purported bribery is said to have been obtained from a US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raid of the 50-year-old man’s Las Vegas villa. Macau Secretary for Security’s office said it did not have any information on the bribery claim, while the Macau Public Prosecution Office could not be contacted at the time of its report.

Source: "Malaysian kingpin allegedly paid millions to Macau police to win freedom", 12 November 2014, themalay Mail Online, https://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysian-kingpin-allegedly-paid-millions-to-macau-police-to-win-freedom#sthash.veNZSmFD.dpuf

Zimbabwe

Gishon Ntini alleged match-fixing yesterday, accusing Triangle of paying off some of his players to lose the Lowveld Derby at Chishamiso Stadium yesterday. The already relegated Chiredzi FC went on to lose the match 1-0 courtesy of Richard Kawondera fourth minute strike. “They paid some of my players to lose the match. I don’t want to mention the players but I think I have made myself clear and they also pay match officials,” Ntini said. Last week, Hwange cried foul after they lost 1-0 at Gibbo when Triangle were awarded a penalty.

Source: Kenneth Nyangani, "Ntini alleges match-fixing as Triangle win", 10 November 2014, News Day, https://www.newsday.co.zw/2014/11/10/ntini-alleges-match-fixing-triangle-win/

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

New Caledonia

FIFA banned the former head the New Caledonia football federation Edmond Bowen for three years for dishonesty when filling out an integrity questionnaire. Bowen has been barred because "did not fill out the mandatory declaration of integrity truthfully" when bidding to become a member of FIFA's disciplinary committee and had therefore breached "general rules of conduct". Media in the Pacific have previously reported that in 2010, Bowen received a one-year prison sentence and was involved in bankruptcy proceedings. The following year he was allowed to stand for his federation's presidency. FIFA announced Bowen's ban via a statement on its website, saying he is barred "from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for a period of three years." FIFA said it took the "exceptional" step of publishing the ban on its website because Bowen had not responded to ethics committee adjudicatory chamber chairman Joachim Eckert.

Source: Andrew Warshaw, "FIFA bans Oceania's Bowen for breaking integrity rules", 11 November 2014, Inside World Football, https://www.insideworldfootball.com/world-football/15818-fifa-bans-oceania-s-bowen-for-breaking-integrity-rules

South Africa

A South African football referee was convicted of corruption and sent to prison for four years for his role in trying to fix lower league playoff games in 2011. The South African Football Association said Clifford Malgas was sentenced Friday to two years in jail for corruption and two years for perjury. SAFA said in a statement it was still working with police and national prosecutors to "pursue" persons involved in the attempted fixing. Malgas' conviction followed that of former South Africa assistant coach Phil Setshedi, who received a three-year jail term last year for trying to fix the same playoff games. A commercial crimes court in Cape Town ruled that Malgas had colluded with Setshedi to try and fix games. Setshedi was caught trying to bribe an undercover policeman who was posing as another referee. Malgas was then implicated as being involved in the attempted fixing during Setshedi's trial, when Malgas also lied under oath.

Source: "South African referee convicted of corruption", 15 November 2014, AP, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11359285

Vietnam

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) extended the suspension of six Dong Nai FC players to the confederation level. The decision came from the office of the chairman of AFC's Disciplinary Committee following sanctions issued by the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF) Disciplinary Committee. On July 23, the VFF Disciplinary Committee temporarily prohibited six players from taking part in any kind of football-related activity following a national investigation into match fixing. The six players, including the team captain, were arrested after Dong Nai FC’s V-League loss to Than Quang Ninh FC on July 20 at the Cam Pha Stadium, Quang Ninh. The suspended players, all of whom are Vietnamese nationals, were Pham Huu Phat, Nguyen Thanh Long Giang, Nguyen Duc Thien, Ha Niem Tien, Phan Luu The Son and Dinh Kien Trung. According to AFC, the suspensions will expire on 23 January, 2015. On July 23, Vietnamese police detained the six players after their 5-3 defeat by Quang Ninh in a top flight V-League match.

Source: Quoc Viet, "6 Vietnamese footballers suspended regionally for match-fixing at home", 13 November 2014, Thanh Nien News, https://www.thanhniennews.com/sports/6-vietnamese-footballers-suspended-regionally-for-matchfixing-at-home-33943.html

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