INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 5-18 September 2016

published on 20 September 2016

In this edition of the bi-weekly bulletin, we follow the arrest of an Indian match-fixer in London who was accused of fixing cricket matches in 2000. His case will be heard in London. Furthermore, India has requested extradition from the UK. The match-fixer is also connected to cases in 1999 and 2001, where he was arrested but released due to insufficient evidence. 

There were few articles for this bi-weekly bulletin, however, we do have a case of good practice coming from El Salvador as their football team has refused a bribe in match-fixing for the 2018 World Cup. According to the article, the match-fixer offered each player approximately $3,000 to fix the match.

 

INVESTIGATIONS

India

Sanjeev Chawla, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, was arrested in London in June following an extradition request from India, the Indian Express has reported. Chawla's case will be heard in London on October 3, even as the UK's Crown Protection Services (CPS) has written to Delhi Police asking for details about the security arrangements and facilities in the prison in which Chawla will be kept. "The arrest was made following the Indian government's extradition request. He faces charges of fixing cricket matches between India and South Africa in 2000," Yasser Mehmood, press officer of the CPS, told the Indian Express. "Chawla's case will be heard at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on October 3." Chawla, along with former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, was named in Delhi Police's chargesheet filed in July 2013 for fixing matches between February and March 2000. The scandal came to light in April 2000 after Delhi Police got hold of a taped conversation between Cronje and Chawla in a conspiracy related to "match-fixing and betting" during South Africa's tour of India in 2000.

Cronje, who died in a plane crash in June 2002, later admitted that he had received 6000 pounds from Chawla for providing personal favours in a Test against England in Centurion in January 2000, in which he forfeited South Africa's second innings in a rain-affected match. Chawla was also named in the King commission's report that had investigated Cronje's activities. In January 2001, Chawla was arrested by Scotland Yard in North London in connection with alleged match-fixing, and was also accused of offering money to two England players to underperform in a Test match against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1999. In June that year, he was released as there was "insufficient evidence" to prove the charges against him. The other bookmakers and gamblers listed in the Delhi Police's 2013 chargesheet were Rajesh Kalra, Krishan Kumar, Sunil Dara and Manmohan Khattar. 

Source: "Accused in 2000 match-fixing case arrested in London", 14 September 2016, ESPN https://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/story/1056841.html

 

MODUS OPERANDI

Australia

Controversial gambling figure Eddie Hayson has revealed he provided free sex to rugby league players at a brothel he owned but continues to staunchly deny any involvement in alleged NRL match fixing. Hayson spent nearly an hour at an extraordinary press conference in Sydney on Thursday addressing allegations surrounding three NRL matches at the centre of a NSW police strike force probe and his friendships with players.The high-stakes punter divulged that players, police officers and judges were among the clientele at the Sydney brothel he used to own, Stiletto. He said he offered footballers and jockeys free sex to promote his business because "word of mouth is a very powerful tool". He denied doing so to gain leverage in order to make money on NRL games, claiming "inside information doesn't really exist in rugby league". During the press conference called for him by celebrity agent Max Markson, he lashed out at the media's "lies" and claimed his name had been erroneously used to "embellish" a fictitious underworld fix that a bikie then told to police. "I have never fixed a match in my life, never," Hayson reiterated. "I have never bribed a player or even attempted to interfere with the result of an NRL match or any other sport." Hayson admitted attempting to place $30,000 into the Ladbrokes betting account of good friend Kieran Foran, from whom he said he would steer clear if it allowed the troubled ex-Parramatta skipper to rekindle his career.

Hayson said he tried to put the money into Foran's account for his own use, and said it was not unusual for people to use others' betting accounts. Dozens of players, officials and others are expected to be interviewed by Strike Force Nuralda over the alleged match fixing in the coming months. Reports in June linked Hayson to two 2015 Manly games, one against South Sydney and the other against Parramatta, to investigations. Hayson was adamant he "didn't place one dollar" on either match. "Nobody on my behalf, no commissioning agent," he said. "They've investigated the games thoroughly already." He acknowledged "maybe one or two people" had placed bets on his behalf on a third match under police scrutiny, between the Sea Eagles and Parramatta this season, but said he couldn't recall the total amount. An $18,000 bet was reportedly placed on the Eels winning by five points or more, from which some of the proceeds reportedly ended up in the accounts of Foran and his brother Liam. "He didn't benefit from a bet," said Hayson, who added there was no money trail from the bet. "His brother put $2000 in his account three weeks later." Hayson said he gave cash payments to people all the time because he's "a very generous person". He estimated the most he has bet on a Parramatta game this year was in the vicinity of $100,000 or $200,000, but he had not put money on the Eels for around two months.

Source: "Hayson gave NRL players brothel freebies", 15 September 2016, SBS News https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/09/15/hayson-gave-nrl-players-brothel-freebies 

El Salvador

At a news conference, team members played an audio recording of the person allegedly offering various incentives. Canada must beat El Salvador in Vancouver and hope Mexico defeat Honduras in the final round of Group A games to stand a chance of progressing. El Salvador cannot progress to the final round of qualifying. "It's the most dramatic thing in football I've seen for some time now," investigative journalist Declan Hill told the BBC World Service. "The entire team came in with their coaches and said they had been approached on Saturday. They played an 11-minute conversation with the attempted match-fixer." He was offering each player a variety of money per minute depending on the result they could get. The most they would have got for allegedly fixing the match would have been about $3,000 per player." Hill said the offer was allegedly made by an El Salvadorian who knew some of the players, but who wanted to aid the Honduras national team. The BBC has approached the Honduras football association for comment. Canada, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico are members of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf). Three Concacaf nations will qualify for the 2018 World Cup
automatically, with a fourth entering a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.

Source: "World Cup 2018: El Salvador 'refuse bribe to fix match'", 6 September 2016, BBC News https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/37284033

 

ODDS AND ENDS

Cyprus

The head of the Cypriot players’ union has accused the Cyprus Football Association of intimidation tactics aimed at silencing those who dare to speak out about match-fixing in professional leagues. Spyros Neofitides, who faces a minimum €5,000 fine following the Guardian’s expose of rigged games and illegal betting on the island and who has been referred to a disciplinary committee by the CFA in a case due to be heard on Wednesday, said the decision was a reflection of the extraordinary panic the article had unleashed. “At the end of the day the article has helped because it has focused attention on this problem but the FA’s move is an over-reaction that shows just how panicked people are,” the goalkeeping coach said in a telephone interview from the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. “The message they are sending is ‘we don’t want anyone to speak out about this issue’”. Neofitides, who does not have to be formally present when the disciplinary committee sits, was deemed to have made damaging remarks compromising the status of Cypriot football in general.

The 40-year-old had told the Guardian: “After the financial crisis we had a big problem with money. A lot of businesses saw football as an opportunity to gain money through illegal betting. There are 350 players in the first division, another 280 in the second and for many clubs match-fixing became a way of boosting funds.” After concerted efforts to clean up the game – implementing measures to raise awareness among players who fear loss of jobs or salary if they report incidents – Neofitides said the prospect of censure, including possible suspension, amounted to an implicit gagging order. “It’s a threat pure and simple. If players see this happening, how then will it be possible for me to convince them to speak out about it?” he asked. “They’ve accused me of slander. But I didn’t say anything bad about the CFA. I just said what everyone knows. Unfortunately it is very dirty. There is a lot of money involved. We are talking about millions and it goes very deep.” The issue was first brought to light two years ago when the Cypriot referee Mario Panayi, who has since been disbarred, claimed the CFA was connected to the phenomenon and in a departure from the silence that had long cloaked the problem, named names. The revelations came amid a host of bomb attacks against referees on the island. Neofitides said whatever the outcome he hoped Cyprus’s notorious reputation would finally be cleansed following the furore. The report has prompted wide public debate with the head of the Pancyprian Footballers Association also meeting politicians. “The island’s police chief has asked to see me on Tuesday and that at least is a good sign,” he said. “I will use the opportunity to press the need for measures to be taken, starting with an action plan and hotline for players.

Source: Helena Smith, "Cyprus match-fixing whistleblower faces €5,000 fine after Guardian exposé", 13 September 2016, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/sep/13/cyprus-match-fixing-coach-guardian-fine 

 

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS

Council of Europe

2nd International Conference for the promotion and implementation of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.

20-21 September 2016, Strasbourg, France

The Secretariat of the Council of Europe (Sport Conventions together with EPAS) is organising the 2nd International Conference for the promotion and implementation of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. The Conference will take place in Strasbourg on 20 and 21 September 2016. The main target of the conference is to provide practical information and support to public authorities with regard to their on-going signature/ratification process of the convention, and/or implementation of the convention principles.

Council of Europe

3rd International Conference for the promotion and implementation of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.

27-28 September 2016, Zagreb, Croatia

The third "Keep Crime Out of Sport" (KCOOS) Project Regional Seminar will take place in Zagreb, Croatia in which the main actors from Europe 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.

 

INTERPOL/IOC

Train the Trainers Course and National Workshop

20-21 October 2016, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The INTERPOL Integrity in Sports Unit and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is hosting a National Workshop and a Train the Trainers Course in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Law Enforcement, Sport federations, prosecutors, and the betting industry have been invited for the National Workshop. Sport federations, sport coaches and athletes have been invited for the Train the Trainers workshop. Both events will take place on 20-21 October 2016. 

 

INTERPOL/IOC

Train the Trainers Course

29 September 2016, Zagreb, Croatia

The INTERPOL Integrity in Sports Unit and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be hosting a Trainer the Trainers Course in Zagreb, Croatia. Participants from sport federations, sport coaches, and athletes have been invited to the course. The Train the Trainers course will take place on 29 September 2016.

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