INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 15-28 May 2017

published on 30 May 2017

In this bi-weekly edition, we look to the need for international cooperation in order to unveil cases, such as the case in Pakistani cricket. Furthermore, we direct your attention to Sweden, where a game has been rescheduled following suspicions after a player spoke out about a bribery attempt.

The Integrity in Sports Programme is still involved in many events around the world in the upcoming month to raise awareness on the severity of match-fixing, among other crimes in sports.

 

INVESTIGATIONS

Nigeria

EFCC arrests 2 Nigerian referees

Two Nigerian referees have been nabbed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged match manipulation scandal after a second tier league match in Abuja, AOIFootball.com can report. The match day 12 Nigeria National League game between FC Abuja and Kogi United FC ended 1-1, but after the match, two referees were picked up by the EFCC for alleged match manipulation. The arrested referees are from the Kogi state football association. At half time during the game, the arrested referees entered the dressing room to talk with the match-day officials about the game which ended in 1-1. The two men were lated arrested. The match day officials were Centre Referee: Katsina Daniel from Benue State, Assistant Referee 1: Tyozer Thomas and Assistant Referee 2: Orgy Blessing. All from Benue State. It was also believed that there were records on the phones of the arrested referees which showed they had been in contact with the match day officials. One of the arrested referee, Isiaku Ibrahim, has been known to be in charge of controversial matches. They were however later released, but their phones were confiscated and they were asked to report at EFCC on Tuesday 30 for further quizzing. It would be recalled that the Nigeria Football Federation Integrity Unit led by Dr Christian Emeruwa, has been on an aggressive campaign to fight the menace of match-fixing by signing an MoU with security operatives in Nigeria to deal with perpetrators.

Source: 28 May 2017, Aoifootball.com 
Football 

Pakistan

Britain’s agency helped uncover major spot-fixing scandal in PSL

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption and safety unit (ACSU) was speaking to reporters in Lahore after testifying in a case against opening batsman Sharjeel Khan, who has been provisionally suspended by his board since the scandal erupted in February. Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan and spinner Mohammad Nawaz have already been banned for six months with six suspended, and one month with one suspended, respectively after confessing to failing to report offers to fix matches. Sharjeel was charged for failing to report an offer to fix and for playing two"‘dot balls" in exchange for money. Latif, whose proceedings will begin later, was charged for luring others to spot fixing. Opening batsmen Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed, who did not feature in the tournament, have been charged with more serious offences and face bans ranging from five years to life, if found guilty. Flanagan, head of the ACSU since 2010, said: “The inquiry was absolutely led by the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) throughout and our role was simply that before the PSL match we received intelligence that was passed to us by the British National Crime Agency.” Flanagan added: “As chairman of the ICC’s ACSU and I work very closely with the domestic anti-corruption units across the world, whatever is the outcome of this case, I would say that the PCB and its unit in this entire process have demonstrated a great determination to keep cricket clean.” Sharjeel’s lawyer said Islamabad United coach Dean Jones, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf and former Pakistan opener Sadiq Mohammad will appear as witnesses for his defence next week. The ICC formed the ACSU in 2001 following life bans on South African captain Hansie Cronje, Pakistan’s Salim Malik and India’s Mohammad Azharuddin after fixing inquiries by their respective countries.

Source: 19 May 2017, Pakistan Today
Cricket
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/05/19/britains-agency-helped-uncover-major-spot-fixing-scandal-in-psl/ 

Sweden

Gothenburg vs AIK fixture postponed after alleged "match-fixing attempt" uncovered

A Swedish league match between Gothenburg and AIK was called off Thursday because of an apparent match-fixing attempt. Swedish soccer federation general secretary Hakan Sjostrand said it was “a very serious attack against Swedish football and we will never, never accept it.” The match had been scheduled for Thursday in Gothenburg. The federation said an AIK player was offered “a substantial amount... if he actively contributes to the club losing the evening's planned match.” Aftonbladet, the Swedish tabloid, reported that Gothenburg said its goalkeeper was approached. Sjostrand said he was informed of the attempt late Wednesday, adding he regretted to postpone the game which he described as “one of the season's finest moments.” Swedish police spokesman Fredrik Gardare said authorities were “taking this seriously” but refused to give details about the investigation. “Those who try to pressure players either with threats or bribes will have a tough time,” Gardare said. AIK, a team based in Stockholm, is in sixth place in the league with 14 points while Gothenburg is in 11th with 10 points. AIK sporting director Bjorn Wesstrom said it had not been decided when the game would be played, adding that the players would not comment on the situation.

Source: 18 May 2017, the Independent 

United Kingdom

Britain’s agency helped uncover major spot-fixing scandal in PSL

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption and safety unit (ACSU) was speaking to reporters in Lahore after testifying in a case against opening batsman Sharjeel Khan, who has been provisionally suspended by his board since the scandal erupted in February. Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan and spinner Mohammad Nawaz have already been banned for six months with six suspended, and one month with one suspended, respectively after confessing to failing to report offers to fix matches. Sharjeel was charged for failing to report an offer to fix and for playing two ‘dot balls’ in exchange for money. Latif, whose proceedings will begin later, was charged for luring others to spot fixing. Opening batsmen Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed, who did not feature in the tournament, have been charged with more serious offences and face bans ranging from five years to life, if found guilty. Flanagan, head of the ACSU since 2010, said: “The inquiry was absolutely led by the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) throughout and our role was simply that before the PSL match we received intelligence that was passed to us by the British National Crime Agency.” Flanagan added: “As chairman of the ICC’s ACSU and I work very closely with the domestic anti-corruption units across the world, whatever is the outcome of this case, I would say that the PCB and its unit in this entire process have demonstrated a great determination to keep cricket clean.” Sharjeel’s lawyer said Islamabad United coach Dean Jones, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf and former Pakistan opener Sadiq Mohammad will appear as witnesses for his defence next week. The ICC formed the ACSU in 2001 following life bans on South African captain Hansie Cronje, Pakistan’s Salim Malik and India’s Mohammad Azharuddin after fixing inquiries by their respective countries.

Source: 19 May 2017, Pakistan Today
Cricket
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/05/19/britains-agency-helped-uncover-major-spot-fixing-scandal-in-psl/ 

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Australia

Tennis player Oliver Anderson guilty of fixing ATP match

A former elite Australian junior tennis player has escaped conviction for fixing an ATP match in Victoria last October. Oliver Anderson, who won the 2016 Australian Open boys championship, pleaded guilty to a charge of corrupting the outcome of a sporting event at LaTrobe Magistrates Court this morning. The court heard that Anderson, 19, from Brisbane, agreed to throw a set in an opening round match of a Challenger tournament in Traralgon last year. Victoria Police’s sporting and integrity unit were alerted by Crown Bet to suspicious betting on Anderson’s match with Harrison Lombe, who was ranked almost 900 spots below him. The court heard a bet was placed by an associate of Anderson of $2000 on Harrison to win a set at odds of 6-1. An initial bet of $10,000 was rejected by the gambling operator. Another wager of $13,000, which required Anderson to win the match in three sets as part of a multiple bet, was also denied by Crown Bet. Anderson managed to win four games in the first set before throwing a service game where he notably delivered some wild serves. The court accepted Anderson was usually of exemplary character and was genuinely remorseful. He was ordered to serve a two-year adjourned undertaking and pay $500 to the court fund.

Source: 23 May 2017, the Australian
Tennis
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/tennis-player-oliver-anderson-guilty-of-fixing-atp-match/news-story/330d4ebeee7fabf11cc6894523673054

India

Kerala HC issues notice to Vinod Rai-led BCCI panel for ban on S Sreesanth

Kerala High Court on Monday sought BCCI’s stand on a plea filed by S Sreesanth challenging the life ban imposed on him by the national governing body after the bowler was found to be indulging in spot-fixing activity during IPL 2013. A bench of Justice P B Suresh Kumar sought the BCCI’s stand, issuing notice to the panel of administrators, appointed to oversee BCCI’s operations, headed by Vinod Rai. The former CAG, Rai, has been asked to reply before the next hearing on June 19. BCCI had earlier filed a counter-affidavit on the issue before the court in response to the plea by Sreesanth, who had challenged the continuation of the life ban imposed on him from cricket despite being acquitted on match-fixing charges. In its affidavit, the BCCI had said “the decision of the sessions court to acquit the petitioner from the criminal charges has no impact whatsoever on the decision of the internal disciplinary committee of the BCCI to ban the petitioner from playing cricket tournaments organised by the BCCI and/or its affiliates.” BCCI had said the question before the sessions court was whether the petitioner (and other accused) was liable to incur penal consequences under relevant criminal statutes. On the other hand, the question before the BCCI Disciplinary Committee was whether the petitioner was guilty of match fixing, corruption and gambling and violation of the internal disciplinary rules of the BCCI, the Board had said. The standard of proof required under a penal statute is much higher than the proof required for a disciplinary inquiry, it had said. The IPL spot-fixing scandal had 36 accused including Sreesanth alongside other players Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila and all of them were discharged by Patiala House Court in July 2015. BCCI, however, has refused to change its disciplinary decision despite the verdict.

Source: 22 May 2017, the Indian Express 
Cricket
https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/kerala-hc-issues-notice-to-vinod-rai-led-bcci-panel-for-ban-on-s-sreesanth-4668584/

Italy

Genoa defender Armando Izzo has ban and fine for match-fixing reduced

Genoa defender Armando Izzo has had his ban and fine over match-fixing allegations reduced. Izzo was banned for 18 months and fined 50,000 euros (£42,972) last month for failing to disclose a match-fixing agreement when at Avellino in 2013-14. Italy's Federal Appeal Court on Friday reduced the ban to six months and 30,000 euros (£25,783). "It was a hard year, a year in which I suffered a lot," wrote Izzo on Facebook after the result of the appeal. "But I was never afraid, I have always been confident in my honesty and I have never stopped fighting for the truth." Izzo was called up to Italy's national squad last November but did not make the team. Genoa are fifth from bottom in Serie A and only two points off the relegation zone. Their last two games of the season are at home to ninth-placed Torino on Sunday (14:00 BST) and away to second-placed Roma (19:45 BST) on 28 May.

Source: 19 May 2017, BBC Sport
Football
https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/39982328 

Japan

Junn Mitsuhashi: Japanese gets life ban for match-fixing offences

Japan's Junn Mitsuhashi has been banned from tennis for life after being found guilty of match-fixing offences. The 27-year-old, who asked players to underperform at ITF Futures tournaments in South Africa and Nigeria in 2015, was also fined $50,000 (£38,600). Mitsuhashi placed 76 bets on matches in 2015 and did not co-operate with Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) enquiries into the allegations, which are both offences. He was world number 295 in 2009 but had fallen to 1,997th by the end of 2015. In November 2015, he asked Joshua Chetty, who was banned in September 2016 after a separate TIU investigation, to underperform in a tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He offered $2,000 to underperform in a singles match and $600 in a doubles match. In December 2015, he approached a different player at the ITF Futures F4 Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria, asking him to fix aspects of a match. His betting infringements came in October and November 2015. The ban from all professional tennis applies with immediate effect.

Source: 16 May 2017, BBC
https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/39934016 

United States 

An American tennis player banned for ten years

After Japan's Junn Mitsuhashi was banned from tennis for life after being found guilty of match-fixing offences, another shocking news about courruption in tennis has emerged. American tennis player, Nikita Kryvonos has been banned for ten years and fined $20,000 (£15,380) after being found guilty of breaches of the sport’s anti-corruption programme. The Tennis Integrity Unit found he was involved with third parties "to contrive the outcome of a match" at the Challenger event in Illinois in 2015. This coincided with suspicious betting activity on the match Kryvonos, locked horns with the current world no. 1 on the men's tour, Andy Murray at the lush green grass of SW19 in 2004 at the Junior championships. Kryvonos lost the match in three sets that day. The 30-year-old’s ban will end on 29 November 2025. Hence, the ban practically marks the end of his professional tennis career. Kryvonos achieved a career-high singles ranking of 389 in 2007. His most recent ranking, in 2015, was 931. Match fixing in lower ranked players has turned into a menace and if not stopped quickly, can shake the integrity of the game.

Source: 21 May 2017, Tennis World
Tennis
https://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Tennis_Stories/43528/an-american-tennis-player-banned-for-ten-years/ 

 

GOOD PRACTICES

Australia

Sports unite behind government plan for national integrity tribunal

A plan by federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt to introduce an independent national integrity tribunal to hear doping and match-fixing cases has been welcomed by anti-doping experts. Two past chief executives of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority have supported the idea to establish a government-funded tribunal to take responsibility for hearing doping cases away from the national sports federations. Richard Ings said he had long advocated a central tribunal to hear doping cases across all sports, as is the case in Britain and New Zealand. Major sports such as the AFL and NRL now have their own tribunals, while many other sports rely on the Court of Arbitration for Sport to hear doping cases. Ings said the cost of a CAS hearing could be prohibitively expensive for athletes, and a government-backed tribunal would be more accessible for those with limited means. “It’s a form of legal aid so that athletes can get legal support if they have a case to answer,’’ Ings said. “It means all athletes will have their day in court — and so they should. Many amateur athletes who are involved in these cases can’t afford to go to CAS. “This would be accessible and independent and could make decisions without fear or favour, and then there is always the option of an appeal to CAS if either party is unhappy with the decision. They already have this in New Zealand and it works really well because it’s independent of sport and of the Olympic movement.’Another former ASADA chief, Ben McDevitt, has also backed the creation of an independent tribunal. Hunt said it was time Australian sport moved beyond “the notion of sports sitting in judgment of themselves’’. “I’ve discussed this with various sports and at this stage there is early but broadly supportive commitment to something such as a national integrity tribunal or commission,” he said. “I think that would allow us to avoid the situation where the AFL had to sit in judgment of itself in relation to the Essendon doping case.I discussed this in brief with the AFL, and we’ll use the sports plan process to consider what should be a national integrity commission, but my view is that that is the right direction and I believe it will actually be a source of comfort for individual sports.’’ Hunt said sports would have to opt in to the tribunal process but he expected that they would welcome it. The tribunal would be funded by a national sports lottery, which Hunt hopes to introduce next year to provide support for sport and heritage projects. He also outlined the creation of a national sports plan this year that would have input from all stakeholders and cover the issues of participation, high performance, integrity and preventive health through physical activity. In a refreshing development given the recent ructions in the sports system, the key protagonists, including the national Sports Commission, Olympic Committee, Paralympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Australia, were in furious agreement with this approach. New AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said a national plan was “critical for Australia’s sporting future ... A national plan will bring clarity on the roles and responsibilities of all the parties involved and establish the support, the infrastructure, the funding required to achieve our collective sporting outcomes for the country, and we welcome the minister’s support for the lottery initiative.” Carroll said the AOC would “fully engage’’ with the plan’s development and would encourage its 40-member sports to contribute during the consultation phase. Support for the lottery proposal is much-needed common ground between ASC chairman John Wylie and AOC president John Coates. Hunt said the states would be consulted on the national plan and the lottery. The public consultation period will end on July 31 and Hunt hopes to announce the plan before the end of the year.

Source: 23 May 2017, the Australian
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/sports-unite-behind-government-plan-for-national-integrity-tribunal/news-story/6fe67539af77bc25fd45b2834792a684 

 

ODDS AND ENDS

Greece

FA urged to weed out unsuitable club owners as fans claim fit and proper tests are ineffective

UEFA are continuing to monitor ongoing criminal investigations into new Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis - despite the Greek tycoon appearing to claim he had been cleared by multiple authorities as "fit and proper" for a takeover of the Championship club, which was completed on Thursday. The 49-year-old, who passed the Football League's "Owners and Directors' Test", said in an interview with the BBC: "We have passed all the tests, not only from local authorities in the UK but from UEFA [and other organisations]." However, a spokesman for UEFA, European football's governing body, said: "We have no jurisdiction to clear such a takeover, and haven't cleared it". UEFA remain in touch with Greek authorities who are examining allegations around match-fixing and corruption involving Marinakis and dozens of others and also have an open file on alleged match-fixing at the tycoon's Greek club Olympiacos. He denies any wrongdoing and, while he is the subject of a criminal investigation in Greece and UEFA scrutiny over alleged fixing, has no criminal convictions. A Forest spokesman said: "It must be made quite clear that Mr Marinakis and Olympiacos have never been found guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever." But Fans and campaigners have blasted the FA for lack of action implementing 'fit and proper' ownership tests after UEFA denied they "cleared" Forest's takeover. Marinakis, 49, owner of Olympiacos, has been dogged by allegations of match-fixing, bribery, organised crime links and attempting to improperly influence referees, police, judges and politicians. He was passed as fit and proper by the Football League last week to own Forest and completed his buyout on Thursday. The UEFA spokesman added that European football's governing body remain in contact with the General Prosecutor in Athens "in order to closely monitor the ongoing investigations [into Marinakis]." Separately, integrity experts with knowledge of UEFA's match-fixing investigations say Olympiacos matches as far back as 2009 are being probed, citing specific examples. FA chairman Greg Clarke, speaking to The Mail on Sunday before Marinakis was cleared to buy Forest, and not referring specifically to that case, told this newspaper: "I worry deeply about ownership." But he admitted he did not know how to solve it, suggesting owners should be required to put three years of future finance in as ring-fenced investment. But ultimately he said it is not the FA's job to test owners. An FA spokesman added: "Each league is responsible for administering the Owners and Directors Test in relation to their own clubs, therefore, it would not be appropriate for us to comment on a specific matter. Speaking generally, English football operates one of the most developed regulatory environments in the world." Fans of clubs said to be run badly, including Blackburn, Leyton Orient, Coventry, Charlton and Blackpool, beg to differ. West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said the Premier League will propose strengthening their own test next month, disqualifying "any potential owner or director whose conduct constitutes an offence under UK law, whether or not there is a conviction". But many want tougher, uniform rules. Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: 'We have serious concerns about the effectiveness of fit and proper tests. "Adequate safeguards are not in place. Football clubs are part of the cultural heritage of communities and deserve to be protected accordingly. The FA has to play a vital role, and should be guardians of our game." Damian Collins, the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee until the dissolution of Parliament, says the tests are "not fit for purpose". "There need to be significant changes, urgently,"added Collins. "The FA appear to not want to act. If they are concerned that a stiffer test wouldn't be legally enforceable, then ask Parliament for statutory change. 'If they're not acting because they don't want to upset the leagues, that itself is indicative of a huge problem."

Source: 20 May 2017, The Daily Mail
Football
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4525916/FA-urged-weed-rogue-club-owners-fans.html#ixzz4iSPxhABi 

United Kingdom

FA urged to weed out unsuitable club owners as fans claim fit and proper tests are ineffective

UEFA are continuing to monitor ongoing criminal investigations into new Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis - despite the Greek tycoon appearing to claim he had been cleared by multiple authorities as "fit and proper" for a takeover of the Championship club, which was completed on Thursday. The 49-year-old, who passed the Football League's "Owners and Directors' Test", said in an interview with the BBC: "We have passed all the tests, not only from local authorities in the UK but from UEFA [and other organisations]." However, a spokesman for UEFA, European football's governing body, said: "We have no jurisdiction to clear such a takeover, and haven't cleared it". UEFA remain in touch with Greek authorities who are examining allegations around match-fixing and corruption involving Marinakis and dozens of others and also have an open file on alleged match-fixing at the tycoon's Greek club Olympiacos. He denies any wrongdoing and, while he is the subject of a criminal investigation in Greece and UEFA scrutiny over alleged fixing, has no criminal convictions. A Forest spokesman said: "It must be made quite clear that Mr Marinakis and Olympiacos have never been found guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever." But Fans and campaigners have blasted the FA for lack of action implementing 'fit and proper' ownership tests after UEFA denied they "cleared" Forest's takeover. Marinakis, 49, owner of Olympiacos, has been dogged by allegations of match-fixing, bribery, organised crime links and attempting to improperly influence referees, police, judges and politicians. He was passed as fit and proper by the Football League last week to own Forest and completed his buyout on Thursday. The UEFA spokesman added that European football's governing body remain in contact with the General Prosecutor in Athens "in order to closely monitor the ongoing investigations [into Marinakis]." Separately, integrity experts with knowledge of UEFA's match-fixing investigations say Olympiacos matches as far back as 2009 are being probed, citing specific examples. FA chairman Greg Clarke, speaking to The Mail on Sunday before Marinakis was cleared to buy Forest, and not referring specifically to that case, told this newspaper: "I worry deeply about ownership." But he admitted he did not know how to solve it, suggesting owners should be required to put three years of future finance in as ring-fenced investment. But ultimately he said it is not the FA's job to test owners. An FA spokesman added: "Each league is responsible for administering the Owners and Directors Test in relation to their own clubs, therefore, it would not be appropriate for us to comment on a specific matter. Speaking generally, English football operates one of the most developed regulatory environments in the world." Fans of clubs said to be run badly, including Blackburn, Leyton Orient, Coventry, Charlton and Blackpool, beg to differ. West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said the Premier League will propose strengthening their own test next month, disqualifying "any potential owner or director whose conduct constitutes an offence under UK law, whether or not there is a conviction". But many want tougher, uniform rules. Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: 'We have serious concerns about the effectiveness of fit and proper tests. "Adequate safeguards are not in place. Football clubs are part of the cultural heritage of communities and deserve to be protected accordingly. The FA has to play a vital role, and should be guardians of our game." Damian Collins, the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee until the dissolution of Parliament, says the tests are "not fit for purpose". "There need to be significant changes, urgently,"added Collins. "The FA appear to not want to act. If they are concerned that a stiffer test wouldn't be legally enforceable, then ask Parliament for statutory change. 'If they're not acting because they don't want to upset the leagues, that itself is indicative of a huge problem."

Source: 20 May 2017, The Daily Mail
Football
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4525916/FA-urged-weed-rogue-club-owners-fans.html#ixzz4iSPxhABi 

 

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS 

Denmark 

INTERPOL-IOC Regional Fact-Finder Course

12-14 June 2017 Copenhagen, Denmark

To prepare Sport disciplinary officers from sport federations to set up an effective internal enquiry for match-fixing allegations. 

Views

4829

Related Articles

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Official partners 

BASL
Soccerex Core Logo
SLA LOGO 1kpx
YRDA Logo2
SAC logo LawAccord

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2018. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.