INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 17-31 October 2016

published on 31 October 2016

In this edition of the bi-weekly bulletin, we focus on investigations and sentences from across the world. In addition, Malta is stepping up their legislation on match-fixing to propose harsher penalties and include tougher sanctions. Betting related activity was suspected in India after an individual was seen providing updates on his mobile after each point. This is simply further indication of how gambling has increased over the recent years due to the ease of internet access and the convenience of live betting.

With the Football World Cup still two years away, some early qualifying matches are already riddled with suspicions of match-fixing. In a match between Lithuania and Malta, suggestions of match-fixing came to light after suspicious betting patterns were noticed. Match-fixers often take advantage of these early matches to approach players as these qualifying matches are not broadcasted as much as the actual FIFA World Cup event. As such, the risk of detection would be low. 
 
The Integrity in Sports Unit 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

Uganda

FUFA president Moses Magogo has ordered the federation’s disciplinary and ethic committees to investigations allegations of match-fixing in the Uganda Premier League. While reacting at the FUFA Annual General Assembly at Nimrod Hotel in Luweero, Jinja district football delegate Faisal Muhammad said that he would give the committees evidence of the vice in Ugandan football. Muhammad was reacting to Magogo’s activity report in line with various football competitions in the country when he said that players, referees and match assessors were involved in the practice. “I had heard of the practice before but during our match with Onduparaka in Arua, I saw the referee adding over 10minutes for unclear reasons. I now have evidence to why I say people bet in the Premier League” Mohammad told New Vision. “I implore the ethics and disciplinary committees to take up this case and establish the truth. Whoever is got in the wrong side will have to be punished. It has been my management style that whoever is found wrong is punished effectively”. FUFA recently suspended coach Sam Ssimbwa for eight months for comments after comments he made about giving money to officials to fix matches. The AGM in Luweero also passed the 2015 FUFA budget and approved a proposal of sh14.2m for 2017. National teams will take the biggest budget of sh5.3bn to train competent staff and compete in matches followed by administration (sh2.1bn) and infrastructure (sh1.4bn) among others. Asked whether FUFA had cleared allowances and bonuses of Uganda Cranes players, Magogo emphasised that he would not discuss it because the players did not want the issue to go public. 

Source: Swalley Kenyi, "FUFA to investigate match fixing claims", 27 October 2016, New Vision https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1438814/fufa-investigate-match-fixing-claims 

United Kingdom 

SCOTLAND'S World Cup qualifying group could be flung into chaos after allegations of match fixing in one of the recent games. Lithuania's 2-0 win over Malta on October 13 is reportedly being investigated by FIFA following suspicious betting patterns according to The Sun. Malta’s goalkeeper Andrew Hogg has claimed a FIFA official stormed their dressing ahead of kick-off to warn of a potential fix after suspicious betting patterns were noticed. An enquiry is now underway with results potentially set to be voided and games replayed. The Hibernians shot stopper - who has 40 international caps and played in Scotland’s 5-1 qualifying win - insists he was terrified following the bizarre situation he found himself ahead of the match and said: “It was strange and felt very uncomfortable — as if we were being accused of cheating. “I knew I’d done absolutely nothing wrong and had no idea what they were talking about. “But I was left thinking, "If I f*** up now I might end up in the police station." “In the event, there was nothing I could do about the goals. I made three or four good saves which show I was doing my best. I have absolutely nothing to hide. “But this could really mess up the group because no one knows what might happen next. It’s a bulls**t situation.”

Source: "FIFA 'launch match fixing investigation' over game in Scotland's World Cup qualifying group", 30 October 2016, Daily Record https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fifa-launch-match-fixing-investigation-9156553 

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Malta

Former AFM soldier Ronnie MacKay and another man, Chris Brincat have been handed jail and suspended sentences and fines for attempting to bribe players to fix matches. MacKay, who was dismissed from his duties in the AFM in 2014 and is currently undergoing separate judicial proceedings over other match fixing allegations, was also found guilty of committing an offence that he was duty bound to prevent and breaching a conditional discharge he received in 2010. Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, presiding the Court of Magistrates as a court of criminal judicature, had heard how the MFA’s Integrity Officer Frans Tabone had received a phone call from the president of Naxxar Lions FC in September 2012, informing him that one of the club’s players, Sunday Eboh, had been approached and offered a bribe. Eboh, determined to blow the lid off the actions of Brincat and Mackay, who was still listed as a football player by the MFA despite no longer being active in the sport, had insisted on going to police. Prosecuting Inspector Melvyn Camilleri testified to being informed of a Naxxar player being approached and offered money to play badly in the club’s upcoming game against Gzira, by Tabone and Eboh. Eboh had told the officer he was called up by teammate Jermain Brincat and told to meet him in Guardamangia. Upon arriving at the meeting point, he found Chris Brincat instead of Jermain. Brincat told Eboh that “another person was on his way and would explain things in detail.” 

Source: Matthew Agius,"Former soldier jailed for match-fixing, accomplice gets suspended sentence", 18 October 2016, Malta Today, 
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/70743/afm_soldier_jailed_for_matchfixing_accomplice_suspended_sentence

Mexico 

Mexican Daniel Garza has been banned for six months and fined $5,000 (£4,060) after being found guilty of match-fixing. The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) found Garza had "attempted to influence the outcome" of a match at the ITF USA Futures 11 tournament in Calabasas, California last March. Garza did not play in the tournament. "The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that he is excluded from competing in, or attending, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport," a TIU statement read. The TIU conducted an investigation into the allegation before independent anti-corruption hearing officer Richard H McLaren heard the case on September 12 in Miami. Garza, 31, was found guilty of breaching Section D.1.d of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, which states "no covered person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event." Garza's singles ranking is 1,065 in the world, with a career-high mark of 294 in 2012.

Source: "Mexican Daniel Garza banned for six months and fined for match-fixing", 18 October 2016, Sky Sports, https://www.skysports.com/tennis/news/12110/10622768/mexican-daniel-garza-banned-for-six-months-and-fined-for-match-fixing

 

LEGISLATION

Malta

A high-powered task force set up in the wake of claims last year that Maltese football was “infested” with corruption is set to propose a new law aimed at tightening controls and cracking down on match-fixing. The Malta Football Association’s general secretary Bjorn Vassallo yesterday confirmed the MFA is to meet next month to discuss the proposed measures. The Bill is being drafted by a sub-committee of the task force, which consists of representatives from the government and Opposition, the police, the MFA, Malta Gaming Authority and Sport Malta. “Rather than papering over the cracks of the existing law, which goes back to 1976, the task force opted for a radical overhaul through a Bill which we hope will be presented to Parliament by the end of the year,” Mr Vassallo said. He said the Bill will include tougher sanctions and address a number of grey areas such as jurisdiction issues, in matches involving teams from different countries, which in the past have hindered prosecutors. The task force was set up following the shocking revelations made in January last year by the association’s integrity officer Franz Tabone, whose role is to pass on any evidence of match-fixing and promote the sport’s values. He claimed in a newsletter that Maltese football was “infested by people who grade the game’s sporting spirit at the lowest grade, if any”. “Some clubs finance their entire operation by manipulating matches, betting on them and the winnings going towards the club whilst also lining their own pockets,” he said. Asked yesterday if he was satisfied with the response his statements had sparked, Mr Tabone questioned the need for a task force to revamp legislation, although he did welcome the proposed measures. “Personally, all I want is greater support from the police who must step up their efforts whenever we flag suspicious behaviour,” the MFA integrity officer told this newspaper. “We are dealing with criminality, but the basic principle is still the same. You go to a player, and he will do the job for you.” He added that the close proximity of Maltese clubs made it easier to flag abuse. “Education is the main weapon at our disposal and we are focusing our resources on inculcating the right values among upcoming generations,” he said. The anti-corruption task force will debate the proposed measures in its upcoming meeting. 

Source: Keith Micallef, "Match-fixing bill expected by end of year", 17 October 2016, Times of Malta https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161016/local/match-fixing-bill-expected-by-end-of-year.628054

 

BETTING

India

In the first instance of its kind, a spectator at the $50,000 KPIT ATP Challenger tennis event was evicted from the stands for being involved in suspected betting-related activity. "The person was seen providing updates after each point during the match. We asked him to leave the venue immediately and that he should not enter the venue again," said Sunder Iyer, tournament organiser and MSLTA secretary. The incident happened on Monday during the first-round doubles clash between Saketh Myneni Sanam Singh and Sriram Balaji Vishnu Vardhan pairs. Match-fixing in tennis hit the headlines earlier this year when an Australian Open match officially became a subject of enquiry. Paes-Ram start association on winning note Indian men's tennis is in transition but one name, that has been a constant for the last two decades, seems set to play a crucial role in shaping its future: Leander Paes. Paes, 43, combined with Ramkumar Ramanathan to beat a rookie pairing Anvit Bendre and Sidharth Rawat 6-3, 6-4 in the $50,000 KPIT ATP Challenger tennis event here on Wednesday. "I saw the scoreboard and it was showing Indian flag, Indian flag, Indian flag and Indian flag. You don't see that often," Paes, forever the man of theatre, said with a beaming smile after the match on centre court. Sporting a beard and looking fitter than he was at the start of the season, Paes let the 21-year-old Ramanathan call the shots for most part of the match even while displaying his magic at the net on crucial points.

Source: K Kumaraswamy, "ATP Challenger: Person evacuated for suspected betting", 27 October 2016, The Times of India https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/top-stories/ATP-Challenger-Person-evacuated-for-suspected-betting/articleshow/55089175.cms 

 

DOPING

Norway

Defending cross-country World Cup champion Therese Johaug was handed a two-month provisional suspension Wednesday pending a full investigation into her positive doping test. Johaug, one of Norway's most decorated female cross-country skiers, tested positive for the steroid clostebol. The Norwegian ski federation said the drug came from a lotion given to her by team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen to treat sunburn on her lips during high-altitude training in Italy in August. In a tear-filled news conference last week, Johaug insisted she was without guilt and said Bendiksen had assured her the lotion did not contain any banned substance. Anti-Doping Norway imposed a provisional suspension until Dec. 18, meaning Johaug will miss the start of the World Cup season. In a statement issued by the Norwegian ski federation, Johaug said she wouldn't appeal the decision. "Now I will focus on what's most important: working for a full acquittal," she said. Niels Kiaer, an attorney for the agency, told The Associated Press that investigators will evaluate the case more closely in coming weeks to determine the appropriate penalty. He said under international doping rules that could range between a two-month suspension to a four-year ban. "The fact that she has now been suspended provisionally means she has some degree of fault," Kiaer said. "Which degree of fault is what we will now investigate."

Source: "Norway's Johaug gets provisional 2-month doping suspension", 19 October 2016, The Daily Progress https://www.dailyprogress.com/norway-s-johaug-gets-provisional--month-doping-suspension/article_ab9d1ade-1906-5999-bab2-bf03c2d2b0e7.html 

 

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS

Council of Europe 

5th International Conference for the promotion and implementation of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions

8-9 November 2016 Athens, Greece

The fifth "Keep Crime Out of Sport" (KCOOS) Project Regional Seminar will take place in Athens, Greece in which the main actors from several European countries will be invited. This seminar, organised by the Council of Europe, will address the needs for legislation, transposition, and law enforcement challenges. For more information, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

European Commission

EU Commission BETMONITARLERT Workshop

21 November 2016 Paris, France

The European Commission research programme BETMONITALERT is organising a workshop for experts titled “Monitoring systems of sports betting and warning mechanisms between public and private actors.” This will take place on Monday 21 November 2016 in Paris, France

INTERPOL/IOC

Train the Trainer Course and National Workshop

1-2 December 2016 Kiev, Ukraine 

The INTERPOL Integrity in Sports Unit and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will host a National Workshop and a Train the Trainer Course in Kiev, Ukraine addressed to Law Enforcement, Sport federations, prosecutors, and the betting industry. 

International Sport Convention 

Sports Integrity Conference

7-8 December 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

The International Sports Convention is hosting a sports convention on 7-8 December 2016 at the Palexpo Center, Geneva, Switzerland. This conference is supported by the World Lottery Association and European Lottery. For further information and registration, please refer to the provided link: https://iscgeneva.com/conferences-and-masterclasses/conferences/sports-integrity/ 

World Lottery Summit

World Lottery Association (WLA) Summit

6-9 November 2016 Singapore

World Rugby 

Sports Integrity Forum, World Rugby

14 November 2016 London, Great Britain

The World Rugby Sports Integrity Forum will bring together the world's leaders in the field across sport, policing, government, the betting industry and civil society. The Forum will incorporate presentations, debate and discussion of best practice learnings, recent case studies, prevention and detection models, good governance and safe event planning templates.

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