INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 2-14 May 2017

published on 15 May 2017

In this bi-weekly edition, we follow a case of illegal betting on a match played in Ireland. The betting is believed to have taken place in the Asian markets, confirming a reason that the increase in match-fixing is due to the rise of globalization of sport betting through internet.

A Greek tennis player was banned for life in a case of attempted match-fixing investigated by the Tennis Integrity Unit.

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

Albania

Albania federation denounces bribe in match-fixing attempt

The Albanian football federation has condemned an apparent match-fixing attempt in a recent game between two clubs. A show on private television Top Channel, Fiks Fare, broadcast a phone call of a person trying to bribe a Patizani player before the team played Kukesi last week. Both clubs were at the top of the league with equal points. The match in Tirana ended 1-1. A federation statement on Friday "strongly denounced" the bribe and called on the Partizani club to go the authorities. It also said the person offering the bribe had no links with any club, the association or Albanian football. "The football federation is set in its fight to protect the purity of the game from persons or group of persons," the federation said in the statement. "Together we may contribute to totally eliminate such phenomena, very harmful for the game and the integrity of the game." Partizani hailed the federation's reaction and said it would go to the authorities. It also called on the federation "to act through its commissions, to show its will in a case which serves all of us and not to step aside and make distancing statements." In their reaction on Facebook, the club did not mention whether it had taken any step against the player, or if he had cooperated. Kukesi also denounced the act and said that the person offering the bribe had no direct links to the club. The club said it considered such match-fixing attempts "unacceptable," adding that "they encourage the proper authorities to do their job and we shall be at their disposal to clarify such a case." "We were attacked due to our history but we are proud that in our successful history Kukesi has never been spoiled in such cases which are a shame for Albanian soccer," the club said in a statement. Another Albanian club, Skenderbeu, has been banned by UEFA for a year for fixing matches.

Source: 13 May 2017, ESPN FC Football, 
https://www.espnfc.com/partizani-tirana/story/3124556/albania-federation-denounces-bribe-in-match-fixing-attempt 

Ukraine

Bizarre own goal in Ukrainian second division clash between Obolon’-Brovar and Bukovyna so bad it has prompted fears of match-fixing

A LATE own goal in the Ukrainian second division is so bad, it has prompted fears of match-fixing. With the score at 0-0 between Obolon’-Brovar and Bukovyna and just three minutes remaining, the hosts took the lead in the most bizarre circumstances. Lax defending down the right allowed the attacker to reach the box. His effort was saved by the Bukovyna goalkeeper and landed at the feet of Igor Boychuk. The defender had time to turn and clear — however, he just placed the ball in the bottom corner. Perhaps Boychuk panicked, and tried to kick the ball out of play for a corner. But it still appears a strange decision. The own goal was so bad, it has even sparked speculation of match-fixing. Boychuk looked distraught at the late goal which cost his side two points — but it is certainly questionable. With six games remaining, Bukovyna are just two points above the relegation play-off places and the result could prove costly. Obolon’-Brovar moved up to tenth with the victory are now effectively safe.

Source: Andrew Richardson, 5 May 2017, The Sun Football 
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/3489069/bizarre-own-goal-in-ukrainian-second-division-clash-between-obolon-brovar-and-bukovyna-so-bad-it-has-prompted-fears-of-match-fixing/ 

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Greece

Greek tennis player banned for life for match fixing

Greek tennis player Konstantinos Mikos has been banned for life after being found guilty of attempted match fixing. The 25-year-old has been shut out from the sport owing to four offences unearthed by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation. Mikos was found to have approached Alexandros Jakupovic, banned for life in December 2015, at a Greece F20 Futures tournament in November 2013. "The approach offered payment in return for agreeing to lose nominated sets and games in a match at the event," read a statement from the TIU. "In addition, Mr Mikos was found to have operated two gambling accounts through which bets were placed on tennis between March 2012 and December 2013." Anti-corruption hearing officer Jane Mulcahy imposed the lifetime ban, which comes into force immediately, and covers all forms of professional tennis. Mikos reached a career-high singles ranking of 933 in August 2014.

Source: 4 May 2017, Independent Tennis 
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/tennis/greek-tennis-player-banned-for-life-for-match-fixing-35682079.html 

 

BETTING

Ireland

Athlone town left 'shocked' by match-fixing claims as gardai investigate betting allegations

Squad - are investigating the matter. It is understood the GNECB became aware of the matter in the last 24 hours, after the FAI handed over a file from Uefa, which alerted it to irregular betting patterns. The FAI has also launched an investigation into the midlands Airtricity League First Division club. Both investigations were triggered by activity surrounding the match between Athlone and their neighbours Longford Town last weekend. Athlone lost the game 3-1 and it is believed that a late goal scored by Longford is one part of the investigation. Uefa contacted the FAI to point out unusual betting patterns in international markets and has presented detailed analysis on the subject. The FAI has handed a copy of the report onto the GNECB, which will launch a criminal investigation into the matter. Separately, the FAI will commence interviews with players, coaches and officials of Athlone from Monday. If the FAI finds that a breach of rules has occurred, charges will be issued and the matter passed onto the FAI's disciplinary panel. Athlone's erratic start to the campaign had become a discussion point in Irish football circles. They were taken over by foreign investors over the winter, but mystery surrounds their identity, with the club refusing to disclose their details. An FAI statement suggested it has been keeping tabs on Athlone across the campaign. "The FAI has been monitoring the club since it received information from Uefa following an inquiry by FAI competitions director Fran Gavin, prior to the start of the 2017 season," the statement said. "On March 29, Mr Gavin delivered an integrity workshop presentation to the Athlone Town AFC senior squad and coaches on the prevention of match-fixing and betting, in his role as FAI integrity officer." The FAI have also written to Longford Town, but its statement made it clear that Athlone are the focus of the probe. A statement from the board and the management committee of Athlone Town AFC said they were "absolutely shocked by the contents of documentation forwarded to us by the FAI and Uefa" concerning the Longford match... 

Source: Ken Foy, 4 May 2017, Herald Football
https://www.herald.ie/news/athlone-town-left-shocked-by-matchfixing-claims-as-gardai-investigate-betting-allegations-35678922.html 

 

ODDS AND ENDS

United Kingdom

British Horseracing Authority brings in former detective for integrity role

Watts assumes his new role in July and will provide strategic leadership on integrity-based functions and oversee investigative and licensing processes. The new integrity position at the BHA has been established in response to an integrity review published by the Authority in March last year. Watts joins from the England and Wales Cricket Board, where he helped establish the body's anti-corruption unit in 2011 and served as anti-corruption manager. Previously he spent three years working for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary as a major crime expert. This followed a thirty-year career with the Metropolitan Police Service, where he rose to the rank of detective superintendent for its homicide and serious crimes unit. "Through my work within sports integrity over the past six years, I have developed some understanding of the work of the BHA integrity unit," Watts said. "I was brought up with horses; I am passionate about sport; and I am very much looking forward to transferring my skills and experience into this new role." BHA director of integrity and regulatory operations Brant Dunshea said the Authority was delighted to bring in someone of Watts' experience in intelligence management, investigations and sports integrity. "This appointment was a key focus for the BHA following our integrity review, and we're excited for Chris to begin his new role which will ensure greater accountability for the performance of our Integrity teams," Dunshea said.

Source: 11 May 2017, Gaming Intelligence
https://www.gamingintelligence.com/people/42928-british-horseracing-authority-brings-in-former-detective-for-integrity-role 

 

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. 

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