Integrity In Sport Update - Spanish Pro Football League and National Police sign agreement to eradicate crime in football

Weekly Media Recap 9-15 March 2015

Today’s distribution of the media recap witnesses a few developments in Spain. Although one of them is a follow up of the ongoing match-fixing investigation involving Osasuna football club, we also see a new investigation within the third division and a very positive good practice advancement: the Professional Football League has signed an agreement with the National Police which aims to eradicate and prevent crime in football through mechanisms such as information sharing and awareness raising.

A further good practice development has taken place in Nigeria, where the football federation has stated that referees and match commissioners sanctioned for match-fixing will be handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Ghana

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has reported some top-flight players to law enforcement agencies over allegations they bet on their own team to lose. GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi said the allegations were "a very dangerous development in Ghana's football". Last weekend the coach of Ghana Premier League team BA United, Mohammed Gargo, insinuated that players deliberately lost their match against All Stars. Gargo has reportedly been sacked by the club for his post-match comments. At a media conference, Nyantakyi explained why players had been reported but did not name anyone under suspicion. "Players of clubs and club officials are not supposed to get involved in betting - but that is the kind of disturbing phenomenon that has started developing here and we are very worried about that. So I can assure you the FA is taking the necessary steps to contain it."

Source:"Ghana FA reports players over betting allegations", 11 March 2015, BBC,https://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/31823239

Italy

A match-fixing scandal erupted when Frosinone found a suspicious note to the referee after a 3-3 draw with Virtus Entella. The incident occurred following Saturday afternoon’s dramatic 3-3 Serie B draw, which included three red cards – two for Frosinone and one for Entella. The visitors equalised at the 92nd minute thanks to a debatable penalty. After the final whistle, Frosinone director general Ernesto Salvini went to the media claiming fire marshals had found a note near the Entella bench. It was the kind of note used by Coaches to dictate the upcoming substitution to Fourth Officials, but on the back was written: ‘We score on a penalty.’

Source:"Serie B match-fixing scandal erupts", 15 March 2015, Football Italia,https://www.football-italia.net/63864/serie-b-match-fixing-scandal-erupts

Spain

A player from third division club La Virgen del Camino reported a match-fixing attempt for his club's match against Real Avila. He was contacted by someone asking him to meet at McDonald's. During the meeting, the fixer proposed to give him up to ten thousand euro for the fix, and asked him to think about it until he received a phonecall the following day. After the meeting, the player reported this attempt to his coach, the club's president and the Federation. When he received the phonecall, under the instructions of the Police and the Civil Guard, he said he accepted the deal. Agents from both security bodies attended the match on Saturday and have now identified the fixer, a well known players' representative. The case is under investigation and another player has been called to testify.

Source:Carlos García, "Cita en el McDonald's para intentat comprar un partido de futbol", 15 March 2015, Leonoticias,https://leonoticias.com/frontend/leonoticias/Cita-En-El-McDonald-s-Para-Intentar-Comprar-Un-Partido-De-Fu-vn169644-vst219

Spain

A judge in the northern province of Navarre indicted five players, who were named as Jorge Molina and Jordi Figueras of Betis Seville, Sergio Garcia, the captain of Espanyol, Patxi Pual, formerly of Osasuna, and Antonio Amaya, a former Betis player who now plays for Rayo Vallecano. "They've all been charged over possible match-fixing," a court spokesman confirmed to AFP. Earlier this month, the same judge had already remanded former Osasuna president Miguel Archanco in custody with bail set at $690,000 on charges of match-fixing and misappropriation of funds. Another former member of the Osasuna board, Jesus Maria Peralta, was also remanded in custody.

Source:"Spanish top-flight players charged with match-fixing", 14 March 2015, SBS,https://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/article/2015/03/14/spanish-top-flight-players-charged-match-fixing

 

GOOD PRACTICE

Nigeria

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has warned that they will start prosecuting match commissioners and referees found guilty of match fixing. The association is frustrated and angry by the constant reports of match fixing and collection of gratifications by match commissioners and referees and have revealed actions to prosecute culprits. Chairman of the NFF Match Commissioners appointment committee Hon Suleiman Kwande revealed that officials who collect gratification or aid or abet match-fixing will be sanctioned and then handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

Source:Steve Dede, "Association to prosecute match fixing refs, match commissioners", 11 March 2015, Pulse Nigeria,https://pulse.ng/sports/football/nigeria-football-federation-association-to-prosecute-match-fixing-refs-match-commissioners-id3558467.html

Spain

Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish Professional Football League, and Ignacio Cosidó, director of the National Police, have signed an agreement to erradicate and prevent crime in football. Tebas pointed out that the objective is to fight against match-fixing and corruption in football. Without Police and their tools it is impossible to put an end to these crimes. The agreement has three fundamental parts: the exchange of information through secure channels between both parts, awareness raising for all stakeholders, and the creation of Police units specialised in football. Consideration is also being given to appointing a police point of contact to work alongside Manuel Quintanar, director of the Liga's Integrity Unit, in the gathering of information and existing documentation for current cases. An important element of the agreement are the training acitivites for clubs, directives, footballers, coaches, etc. aimed at prevention of match-fixing, xenophobia, homophobia, intolerance and violence. Additionally, the Police foresees the creation of a group specialised in sports fraud and an email address for anonymous reporting on match-fixing and corruption.

Source:Juan Jiménez, "Amaño de partidos: la LFP firmó un acuerdo con la Policía", 12 March 2015, AS,https://futbol.as.com/futbol/2015/03/12/primera/1426184655_271775.html

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Ministry of Sport has lifted the suspensions of 15 players and officials who were alleged to have been involved in match-fixing. The news was communicated by letter addressed to the secretary general of the Sierra Leone Football Association. The SLFA has not commented on the development. In July last year the SLFA and the Ministry of Sport said in a statement it had received "credible and tangible information" on the alleged involvement of the 15 in match-fixing. The allegations related to a World Cup qualifier against South Africa in 2008 which ended goalless.

Source:"Sierra Leone: Bans on 15 alleged match-fixers lifted", 10 March 2015, BBC,https://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/31820051

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