INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 18 September 2018 - 1 October 2018
Several investigations into cricket and football surfaced over the last two weeks of September. During the 2018 Asia Cup, an Afghanistan wicketkeeper has been approached to underperform at the Afghan Premier League and reported the matter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) who stated that as many as five international captains have been approached for spot-fixing over the last 12 months.
In Portugal, Benfica reportedly offered prostitutes and the payment of hotel bills for match officials. In Spain, the National Police is investigating football clubs in the Balearic Third Division for match-fixing; police indicated that games were being fixed for amounts up to 30,000 euro per club. Following an 18-month investigation, a Nigerian footballer who played for Manchester City and Fulham has been charged in Sweden for offering a bribe to former AIK Stockholm to fix a match against Gothenburg in 2017.
The former president and the majority shareholder of Nimes Olympique football club will appeal prison sentences given to them earlier in September.
FIFA’s ethics committee has imposed life bans on three officials for bribery and corruption after they pleaded guilty in the US Department of Justice’s investigation of international soccer. Despite the governance issues within the Sierra Leone Football Association, FIFA will continue its match-fixing investigations.
The Referees' Association of Ghana (RAG) has handed life-time bans to six more referees following an investigation into bribery. It also banned 47 match officials for 10 years each, while another 14 were exonerated. RAG also confirmed the sanctions handed down by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last month – two for life and six others for 10 years. It brings the total with life bans to eight and those with 10-year bans to 53.
Following a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation, an Australian tennis player has been convicted of match-fixing charges after admitting to deliberately losing the first set of a match at the Latrobe City Traralgon ATP Challenger tournament in 2016 in Victoria, Australia. The Independent Hearing Officer ruled that 19 months provisional suspension already served by the player constitutes the full and final sanction for breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has lifted the suspension of Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) under strict conditions, despite opposition from dozens of athletes and the anti-doping establishment. Following the WADA ruling, athletics' global governing body, the IAAF, said in a statement that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) would continue to remain suspended for the time being.
The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) decided to designate the Korea Skating Union (KSU) as a sports entity that needs special care after over multiple corruption cases. The latest decision means all current KSU executives will need to step down from their positions. Their administrative work will be now managed by those who are dispatched from the KSOC. Along with the KSU, Korea Bodybuilding Fitness Federation (KBBF) and Korea Equestrian Federation (KEF) will also take the same steps and will be controlled by KSOC officials until their administration system is normalized.
Last week, the Council of Europe organized the 3rd International Conference on the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions – Promotion and implementation of the Macolin Convention (CETS no. 215), where a number of key public and private stakeholders took the floor, including INTERPOL.
Lastly, we would like to share with our readership a video <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-45551535/i-can-fix-a-top-algerian-football-match-for-68000> on whistleblowers who explain how bribery has impacted on all levels of football in Algeria.
We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.
The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 22 October 2018.
Asia Cup 2018: Afghanistan Wicket-Keeper Mohammad Shahzad Reports Match Fixing Approach
In a fresh case of corruption in cricket, Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad has been approached to underperform in the inaugural edition of the Afghan Premier League to be played in Sharjah from October 5 to 23. The offer was made during the ongoing Asia Cup.
Shahzad informed the team management after which the matter was raised with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit, according to a report by espncricinfo. "There was an approach made during the Asia Cup, but for their (Afghanistan's) own T20 league," an ICC official was quoted as saying by the website. Asia Cup 2018 Leading Run-Scorers: List of Batsmen With Most Runs in Asian Cricket Tournament.
"The matter was reported through the right channels on Saturday and is being looked into by the anti-corruption unit," he added.
The head of the ICC's anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall also said in an event here that as many as five international captains have been approached for spot-fixing over the last 12 months; four of them from Full Member countries.
"There have been 32 investigations in the last 12 months, eight involve players as suspects," Marshall said at the ICC's headquarters here. Asia Cup 2018 Schedule in PDF for Free Download: Timetable With List of All Matches in IST Including India vs Pakistan Fixture.
"Five of them involve administrators or non-playing personnel. Three of these individuals have been charged. Five international captains have also reported receiving approaches to spot-fix," he added.
Source: 24 September 2018, Latestly
Benfica "offered prostitutes to referees" as new match-fixing allegations emerge
BENFICA reportedly offered prostitutes to referees in a bid to gain favour with an ex-Portuguese FA chief.
Jornal Economica claims that emails allegedly leaked by a hacker detail a cosy relationship between Benfica and a former member of the country's top football body.
The European giants and their former legal adviser Paulo Goncalves are both accused of various crimes related to match fixing.
And the latest reports claim that Benfica offered prostitutes and the payment of hotel bills for match officials as they maintained close links with former Portuguese Professional Football League delegate Nuno Cabral.
Goncalves, who left Benfica this week, has been charged with 79 crimes relating to match-fixing, while the club itself faces 30 charges.
Judicial official Jose Silva is also accused of 70 crimes, and is already under house arrest after being taken into custody.
Those crimes are reported to include corruption, personal favouritism, embezzlement and computer fraud.
But Benfica have vowed "dismantle" the "absurd and unjustified imputations."
An official statement read: "We maintain the firmness and clarity of our position, announced as soon as it became public knowledge of this situation, regarding the lack of facts that justify any accusation in this process."
Benfica are currently joint-top of the Primeira Liga table after four games, winning three and drawing once.
Source: Anthony Chapman, 21 September 2018, The Sun
Police investigating football match-fixing
The National Police are investigating football clubs in the Balearic Third Division for match-fixing. The investigation has been ongoing for some months, and evidence gathered by police centres on certain players, at least one coach and a group of club directors.
The police indicate that games have been thrown for amounts up to 30,000 euros per club, meaning that each player has been receiving around 2,000 euros, said to be paid out with 500 euro notes. In the form of "pocket money", payments are difficult for the police to detect.
The investigation is being conducted by the gambling service within the National Police's UDEV unit for specialised and violent crime. The chief inspector, Jesús Alberto Fuentes Sastre, suggests that there are "mafias" who select players, coaches and directors in the Third Division and also in the Segunda B divisions. Media coverage of games at these levels is low. Were it high, the match fixing would be more apparent or probably wouldn't happen. As players are in any event paid only small amounts, they are susceptible to being tempted by bribes and match-fixing.
On Tuesday, the police union and the Balearic Football Federation held a conference about illegal gambling and violence. Miquel Bestard of the federation told an audience which included footballers about the concern there is. He thanked the National Police for it having become involved in trying to stamp out fixing.
Anyone found guilty of match-fixing could be liable to a sentence of four years imprisonment.
Source: Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter, 20 September 2018, Majorca Daily Bulletin
Dickson Etuhu charged with bribery after match-fixing probe
Former Premier League footballer Dickson Etuhu will fight a bribery charge brought against him in Sweden.
Nigeria international Etuhu, who played for Manchester City and Fulham during his time in England, ended his playing career in Sweden and has since become a player agent.
The 36-year-old has been charged after an 18-month investigation into match-fixing in Sweden.
Etuhu has been accused of offering a bribe to former AIK Stockholm team-mate Kenny Stamatopoulos to fix a match against Gothenburg in 2017.
That game was cancelled after authorities in Sweden became aware of the allegations.
Another former player - Alban Jusufi - has also been charged.
Etuhu's lawyer Johan Akermark told Fotbollskanalen: "He has not offered any bribe and he does not know anything about any bribe.
"He had a snack with the AIK goalkeeper, they knew each other and used to meet for lunch.
"He has an explanation of what happened and we will present it during the trial."
Source: 18 September 2018, Sky Sports
Oliver Anderson convicted of tennis match-fixing charges
Independent Hearing Officer rules that 19 months provisional suspension already served by the player is full and final sanction for breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program .
Oliver Anderson, the Australian tennis player, has been convicted of match-fixing charges after admitting to deliberately losing the first set of a match at the Latrobe City Traralgon ATP Challenger tournament in Victoria, Australia in October 2016.
Although he went on to win the match and received no financial benefit, his conduct was in breach of the sport’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).
The disciplinary case against Mr Anderson was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H.
McLaren, following an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.
Having found the player guilty of two breaches of the TACP, Prof McLaren has ruled that the 19 months suspension he has already served since being provisionally suspended in February 2017, is a full and final disciplinary sanction.
No further period of exclusion or fine has been imposed, meaning that Mr Anderson is eligible to return to playing professional tennis.
The 20-year old reached a career-high singles ranking of 639 in July 2016.
The breaches of the TACP he committed and has been disciplined for are as follows:
Section D.1.d: "No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event."
Section D.2.a.i: “In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player's obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible."
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.
Source: Mark Harrison, 21 September 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
Ex-Nimes executives to appeal prison sentences for match-fixing - reports
The former president and the majority shareholder of Nimes will appeal prison sentences handed down for their part in attempting to fix matches, according to reports.
Ex-president Jean-Marc Conrad and Serge Kasparian were given 18-month jail terms and €50,000 fines by a Paris court earlier this month for trying to arrange matches in 2014 with the club, which they had just taken over, threatened by relegation.
Five matches were addressed in the case, including the 1-1 draw with Caen on May 13, 2014, that saved Nimes from the drop into the third tier and ensured their opponents would be promoted.
The men were found guilty of trying to fix the outcome of games, not of having actually managed to successfully alter the results.
Jean-Francois Fortin, who was president of Caen at the time, will appeal the 15-month suspended prison sentence and €15,000 fine he was given for passive corruption.
Franck Toutoundjian, who was accused of acting as the ex-Nimes duo's liaison, will appeal his two-year sentence with 12 months suspended and a €5,000 fine.
Three other men, accused of acting as intermediaries, were given a range of suspended sentences and fines.
Under new ownership, Nimes returned to Ligue 1 for the first time since 1993 by finishing second in Ligue 2 last season.
Source: Ian Holyman, 21 September 2018, ESPN
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
FIFA life bans for 3 who pleaded guilty in US case
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA’s ethics committee has imposed life bans on three officials for bribery and corruption after they pleaded guilty in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of international soccer.
FIFA says marketing executive Aaron Davidson, aide Costas Takkas and match agent Miguel Trujillo are also fined 1 million Swiss francs ($1.03 million).
It is unclear if FIFA has power to enforce the fines, though ethics judges have typically imposed large financial penalties in cases arising from the sprawling U.S. federal probe.
In Brooklyn federal court, Davidson pleaded guilty to racketeering and wire fraud, Takkas admitted money laundering and Trujillo pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud.
Takkas, a British aide to former FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, got a 15-month prison sentence last year and faced being deported from the United States.
Source: 19 September 2018, AP
53 more Ghanaian referees banned after bribery probe
The Referees' Association of Ghana (RAG) has handed life-time bans to six more referees in the wake of an investigation into bribery.
It also banned 47 match officials for 10 years each, while another 14 were exonerated.
RAG also confirmed the sanctions handed down by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) last month - two for life and six others for 10 years.
It brings the total with life bans to eight and those with 10-year bans to 53.
Those on the list released by RAG have until 1 October to appeal against the rulings.
The investigation was launched after the officials were secretly filmed accepting money by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
In a statement RAG said those facing lifetime bans "were found culpable for seriously breaching various portions of Disciplinary Code, Code of the Ethics and Regulations of the football controlling bodies by their actions and inactions."
David Laryea and Reginald Lathbridge had already been banned for life by Caf, they have been joined by Safo Adade, Samuel Sukah, Dally Gagba, Furella Barnie, Charles Duwona and Umar Teni.
This is the latest fallout from Anas' film that has seen the Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi resign from his post, as well as from positions he held with Caf and Fifa.
He has also been suspended for 135 days by football's world governing body, Fifa, as it investigates corruption allegations, Nyantakyi has denied any wrongdoing.
On Thursday Fifa and Caf announced a 4 member normalisation committee to take charge of the football affairs in Ghana for the next six months.
Former football association board member Dr Kofi Amoah will head up the committee, he was in charge of the organising committee when Ghana hosted the 2008 Nations Cup.
The other members are Lucy Quist, a former chief executive of a telecoms company, Dua Adonten, a former Asante Kotoko board member and director general of Ghana Post as well as lawyer Naa Odofoley Nortey.
Source: 18 September 2018, BBC Sport
International Cricket Council (ICC)
5 Captains Were Approached For Spot Fixing In Past One Year, Says ICC
The International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption Manager Alex Marshall on Monday revealed that five International cricket team captains have been approached by the bookies over the past 1 year.
Four of those five captains are from the ICC full member countries whereas one is found out to be an associate member.
Marshall was quoted by ToI as saying, "We can’t give out the names. But there have been five international captains who reported suspicious approaches."
Marshall also said that most of the bookies were Indians and said, “That doesn’t mean they operate out of India. They are all over the world. And they love T20 cricket as it is easier for them to spot-fix little periods of the game.”
Meanwhile, an ICC official said that Afghanistan captain Mohammad Shahzad was approached by some suspicious at the team hotel on Sunday evening. Afghanistan team management had lodged a complaint about that matter with ICC.
"The incident was more to do with the upcoming Afghanistan premier League. No official complaint was made but the ICC ACU was alerted that Shahzad was uncomfortable with some people trying to approach him in the team hotel,” ICC official said.
In the annual report, ICC had claimed that it has done 32 investigations into the matter related to match-fixing in the past one year.
The 23 cases were reported by players and team officials.
Source: 25 September 2018, News World India
World Anti-Doping Agency Lifts Ban On Russia, Under "Strict Conditions"
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has lifted the suspension of Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA), despite opposition from dozens of athletes and the anti-doping establishment.
WADA President Craig Reedie said the "great majority" of the organization’s 12-member executive committee voted at a meeting in the Seychelles on September 20 to end a three-year-suspension that followed a major doping scandal.
RUSADA was suspended in 2015 after a WADA-commissioned report outlined evidence of an extensive, government-backed doping program in sports. Moscow has repeatedly denied state involvement in doping.
Following the WADA ruling, athletics' global governing body, the IAAF, said in a statement that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) would continue to remain suspended for the time being.
The IAAF, which has allowed some athletes from Russia to compete as "neutrals" in international events, said its next update on Russia's standing would come in December.
Last week, WADA's compliance review committee recommended that its executive committee end the three-year suspension when it met in the Seychelles, saying the country had "sufficiently acknowledged" failures.
But critics say Russia has still failed to meet steps laid out in the RUSADA Roadmap To Compliance established in 2017, including acknowledging the findings of the WADA report and allowing access to urine samples.
In comments posted on WADA's Twitter account, Reedie said the reinstatement was "subject to strict conditions."
"This decision provides a clear timeline by which WADA must be given access to the former Moscow laboratory data and samples," he added.
Russia welcomed WADA’s decision and "confirms its adherence to the principles of clean competition," said Olga Golodets, the country's deputy prime minister in charge of sports.
In recent years "Russia has conducted enormous work on creating transparent and understandable conditions for combating doping," Golodets said in comments carried by state news agency TASS on September 20.
WADA Vice President Linda Helleland on September 19 joined the chorus of voices arguing against letting Russia back in, saying she would vote against the proposal to reinstate RUSADA if it came to a vote at the meeting of the agency's executive committee.
"I can see that progress is being made and I acknowledge the efforts done by RUSADA," Helleland said in a statement, but she asserted that Russia has not yet met key criteria for its anti-doping agency's readmission.
In an open letter to WADA, 14 members of the IAAF's athletes' commission said that RUSADA "cannot be declared compliant until all outstanding conditions set out in the Roadmap have been satisfied."
They said that any compromises would "tarnish WADA's reputation and bring global sport into disrepute."
National anti-doping agencies from around the world, including from the United States and Britain, also issued a joint statement on September 18 urging WADA not to reinstate RUSADA.
WADA on September 15 rejected accusations that it had softened requirements for RUSADA to be reinstated, saying in a statement that its actions were "grounded in pragmatism," reflected "flexibility," and were "entirely in line” with the RUSADA Roadmap To Compliance.
The athletes' commission of the International Olympic Committee said it "agreed in principle" with the recommendation to end the suspension.
Source: With reporting by the BBC, Reuters, AFP, dpa, and AP, 20 September 2018, Radio Free Europe https://www.rferl.org/a/world-anti-doping-agency-considers-reinstating-russia-after-doping-scandal/29499936.html
ODDS AND ENDS
"I can fix a top Algerian football match for $68,000"
Whistle-blowers explain how bribery has impacted on all levels of football in Algeria.
Over three years, BBC Arabic spoke to referees, players, club chairmen and two match fixers, known as “intermediaries”, about how it works day-to-day.
Kheireddine Zetchi, the president of the Algerian Football Association, has told the BBC that cleaning up football "is one of the priorities of the current management team".
Source: Animated by Darren Wall, 19 September 2018, BBC News
Council of Europe
3rd International Conference on the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions
The Conference opened by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni brought together over 160 participants from 37 countries and 23 public and private international actors. Eleven workshops tackled a number of topics, namely sectorial groups of actors, national policies and themes which are at the core of the Macolin Convention.
A concrete set of priorities were identified, which will fuel the collective effort to be organised within the next phase of the “Macolin Roadmap”.
Together with the support of international actors these priorities will be developed through the Network of the National Platforms created by the Council of Europe (« Group of Copenhagen ») and the project KCOOS+, as well as in collaboration with affiliated projects implemented by partners sharing Macolin Convention objectives. They include - amongst other things- the development of the National Platforms within the framework of the Convention as well as the development of mutualised mechanisms rendering platforms more efficient at national level and better coordinated at transnational level. The necessity of the imminent entry into force of the Macolin Convention was at the centre of the conference and highlighted by all interventions, demonstrating the continued engaged support from all stakeholders with the support of their national authorities in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions.
Source: 25 September 2018, Council of Europe
Korea (Rep. of)
Nat'l skating body to receive "special care" from top sports organization over corruption
South Korea's skating body will receive "special care" from the country's top sports organization over multiple corruption cases, officials here confirmed Thursday.
The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) decided to designate the Korea Skating Union (KSU) as a sports entity that needs special care after holding a board meeting at its headquarters in Seoul.
The latest decision means all current KSU executives will need to step down from their positions. Their administrative work will be now managed by those who are dispatched from the KSOC.
Along with the KSU, Korea Bodybuilding Fitness Federation (KBBF) and Korea Equestrian Federation (KEF) will also take the same steps and will be controlled by KSOC officials until their administration system is normalized.
The KSU was in hot water after South Korea's Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism found wrongdoings in the past through an audit. The ministry later recommended the KSOC designate the KSU as an organization that needs special care.
The ministry had conducted a monthlong joint audit with the KSOC from March after a series of controversies and corruption allegations were raised against the KSU following the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
According to the sports ministry's announcement in May, the KSU maintained an executive board system, which violates KSOC rules. Since 2016, the KSOC said that no sports body should have an executive board system because it can be used as a means to privatization.
The audit also found evidence of inappropriate hiring of national team coaching staff and selection of national team athletes, as well as suspicious processes in choosing national sponsors and a team uniform provider.
The KEF and KBBF failed to elect their leaders for the last 60 days, which violates KSOC rules, and thus were designated as sports bodies that need special management.
Source: 20 September 2018, Yonhap
Fifa to probe Sierra Leone match-fixing despite latest row
Fifa says it is monitoring the situation in Sierra Leone where local anti-corruption authorities have asked FA president Isha Johansen to step down by 19 September.
Johansen faces corruption charges, which she strongly denies, with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) saying she must be suspended in line with national rules until her case concludes.
"Fifa is closely monitoring developments and plans to provide the Member Associations Committee with an update on 26 September," a Fifa spokesperson said.
Johansen has acknowledged the ultimatum for her to vacate her post but is remaining tight-lipped on whether she will follow it.
The ACC's latest demand for both her and Sierra Leone FA (SLFA) secretary general Christopher Kamara to step aside comes shortly before a scheduled visit by a Fifa taskforce to investigate potential match-fixing in Sierra Lone.
The four-man Fifa unit is leading a match-fixing inquiry that includes a World Cup qualifier between Sierra Leone and South Africa in 2008.
Since 2014, eleven officials and four players have been suspended by Sierra Leone's FA pending investigation, with all having denied wrongdoing.
"Fifa continues to expect that the agreed roadmap is strictly adhered to by all parties," said world football's governing body.
"In this context, the Inquiry Group Sierra Leone will be visiting the country soon to conduct its investigations."
Fifa is currently overseeing a roadmap which also concerns, in addition to the match-fixing investigation, delays to FA elections and agreeing the conduct of integrity checks on officials wanting to contest executive positions.
Last week, Johansen refused to state whether she will follow the ACC demand.
"I have been informed of the ACC's letter but prefer to decline to comment," Johansen told BBC Sport.
"The political discord and fragmented breakaway football factions have spanned close to five years. The core reasons for these disputes have over the years become an all too familiar subject of discussion."
Both Johansen and Kamara have always strenuously denied the allegations of corruption.
Nonetheless, ACC commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala has warned of tough action if the SLFA president fails to comply with the order he outlined in a letter to Minister of Sport Ibrahim Nyelenkeh.
"If your ministry doesn't take the necessary steps required within seven days of receipt of this gentle reminder to you on the need to uphold the law, we shall proceed to open investigations against her for abuse of office," said Kaifala.
The letter was sent to the minister and copied to both Johansen and Kamara.
Johansen has previously been set aside by the SLFA Executive Committee but Fifa - which disapproves of governmental interference in the running of a national association - refused to recognise the decision and continues to work with her.
She was recalled to the Executive Committee a few months ago.
Sierra Leone has been without a domestic league for four years because of the divisions within the SLFA.
Source: 18 September 2018, BBC Sport
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