WADA claims links between doping and match-fixing; Singapore extends detention of match-fixing accused
Weekly Media Recap 6-12 October 2014
This week’s recap sees the continuation of investigations in El Salvador, Singapore and Spain, as well as the start of a new investigation in Sweden. The Swedish Crime Prevention Council (BRA) has been commissioned an investigation into match-fixing in the country, the results of which will be used to develop a new strategy to combat it.
Another interesting incident this week took place in Malaysia, with Red Giants’ fans trying to take matters into their own hands. Fans seemed to believe that the only explanation for their team’s defeat was match-fixing, so they paid a visit to the club’s players during their training session to demand explanations.
A court in El Salvador has rejected a demand by the Public Prosecutor’s Office which sort precautionary measures against the foreign businessmen linked to the match-fixing scandal with the national team. The three men (one Malayan-Singaporean and two Nicaraguan) are still waiting for their preliminary hearing. They are being investigated along with 11 players, 6 of which received precautionary measures for not making themselves present at their hearing. Such precautionary measures include not visiting places where they could meet the others under investigation, as well as no communication among themselves.
Source: "Rechazan recurso contra empresarios vinculados a amaño de juegos salvadoreños", 10 October 2014, EFE, https://mx.noticias.yahoo.com/rechazan-recurso-empresarios-vinculados-ama%C3%B1o-juegos-salvadore%C3%B1os-005400891--sow.html
A man was back in court on October 6th to face charges of match-fixing and cheating, two years after he got a discharge not amounting to an acquittal after his alleged accomplices ran away. Selvarajan Letchuman, 51, a former project manager, appeared in court in prison attire as he is serving time until next month for a separate offence. His case is the first where an alleged offender has been taken to court for trying to profit from fixing a match. Selvarajan faced two revived corruption charges for giving RM500 (S$195) and offering RM15,000 to Malaysian part-time referee Shokri Nor to fix a Malaysian Super League football game between the LionsXII and Sarawak in 2012. The maximum penalty for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail. For abetting in a conspiracy to cheat, the maximum punishment is two and a half years' jail and a fine.
Source: Elena Chong, "Man back in court after two years over match-fixing", 6 October 2014, The Straits Times, https://news.asiaone.com/news/crime/man-back-court-after-two-years-over-match-fixing
Singapore has extended detention orders that allow it to hold, without charge, four people accused of being involved in a global match-fixing syndicate, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Wednesday. The four Singaporeans were arrested in 2013, together with 10 others, for their alleged roles in trying to rig soccer matches around the world and had been detained for the past year. The original order held until October 2nd. One of those detained is local businessman Tan Seet Eng, also known as Dan Tan, who has been accused by INTERPOL as being the head of the match-fixing syndicate. European police said last year that a Singapore-based syndicate had directed match-fixing for at least 380 soccer games in Europe alone, making at least eight million euros (£6.2 million). Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli, said at a conference in London this week that by holding these four people they had "effectively dismantled the syndicate". Under Singapore's Criminal Law act, detention orders last for a maximum of 12 months and cases are reviewed annually and submitted to the President.
Source: "Football - Singapore extends orders to hold four over match-fixing", 8 October 2014, Reuters, https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/football-singapore-extends-orders-hold-four-match-fixing-053709365--sow.html
La Liga president Javier Tebas said some authorities wanted to hide match-fixing and financial fair play issues. An investigation is taking place for a clash between Levante and Real Zaragoza from last season, with players summoned in the match-fixing probe. Tebas said the problems needed to be fought, not hidden. "Regarding the match-fixing and financial fair play, from what I've seen in a year and a half as the president of La Liga, it has not been easy for the institutions to realise that this problem exists. But in football, there are also some important institutions that want to hide the problem. Our integrity department in La Liga, for example, last weekend detected match-fixing activity in the third division. We detected the problem and communicated it to the responsible authority, but they chose to hide it. Probably because they don't want to recognise that this problem exists, even in the lower division." Tebas said the governing body had to make sacrifices to help clubs, but believes they are paying their debts.
Source: "Tebas: Authorities hide match-fixing", 7 October 2014, Sportal, https://www.sportal.com.au/football/news/tebas-authorities-hide-match-fixing/m9v9hlimvf1g1bhp1e8zou77q
Sweden’s Crime Prevention Council (BRA) is to launch an investigation into match-fixing in the country as part of an effort to establish how the system works and who it involves. Due to begin this autumn, the investigation was commissioned by the Swedish Sports Confederation, the Swedish Football Association national governing body and state-owned gaming operator Svenska Spel. Results from the investigation, which are not expected until the summer of next year, will be used by authorities to develop a new strategy to help combat match-fixing in the country. The BRA becomes the latest body in the last few weeks to launch an investigation into match-fixing, following the Italian Serie A and Spanish Liga top-tier club football competitions.
Source: "Swedish authority to launch match fixing investigation", 10 October 2014, iGaming Business, https://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/swedish-authority-launch-match-fixing-investigation
International Centre for Sport Security
Qatar-based ICSS and UNESCO will host a summit early next year to implement the detailed recommendations on the manipulation of sport competitions outlined within the ‘Declaration of Berlin’. As part of the drive to safeguard sport against the threat of corruption, match-fixing and betting fraud, the summit will draw together 100 government officials, technical experts and leaders in sport at a special technical meeting in Doha. The ‘Declaration of Berlin’ was adopted by 600 participants from 121 countries at the 5th UNESCO World Sport Ministers Conference (MINEPS V) in May 2013. It seeks to improve and enhance international cooperation between governments and all other sport stakeholders on issues of access, investment and integrity of sport.
Source: "UNESCO teams up with ICSS in summit to extend matchfix fight", 6 October 2014, Keirradnedge, https://keirradnedge.com/2014/10/06/unesco-teams-up-with-icss-in-summit-to-extend-matchfix-fight/
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson has warned coaches at all levels to stop indulging in match fixing and sports betting if they are to grow their careers. Watson said this during the closure of the two-week CAF License A coaching course which attracted over 70 coaches from Uganda Premier League, Big League and institutions around the country at Njeru Technical Centre near Jinja town. At the same time Watson revealed that FIFA is setting up a policy where every level of competition will have an integrity official with authority to halt any football match to avoid match fixing. “You are technically and tactically ready to help transform Ugandan football basing on the knowledge you have picked from the course,” Watson said.
Source: Bruno Mugooda, "FIFA serious on integrity", 7 October 2014, The New Vision, https://www.newvision.co.ug/news/660481-fifa-serious-on-integrity.html
ODDS AND ENDS
Roma forward Francesco Totti has risked punishment from the Italian authorities by questioning the integrity of match officials in Serie A. Roma were beaten 3-2 by Juventus on Sunday, a result their captain found difficult to swallow following some contentious decisions by referee Gianluca Rocchi. After the game, Roma captain Totti said: "It’s a huge shame after a good performance. We came to Turin to play our game, but you saw what happened and that affected the match. For years the same old incidents keep happening. I don’t know if we were beaten by referees, but we certainly were not beaten by Juventus tonight."
Source: "Francesco Totti questions integrity of match officials in Serie A following contentious defeat at Juventus", 6 October 2014, ITV, https://www.itv.com/sport/football/article/2014-10-06/francesco-totti-questions-integrity-of-match-officials-in-serie-a-following-contentious-defeat-at-juventus/
After their surprising 4-0 demolition by Felda United in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup quarterfinals fixture, a number of Red Giants fans took to confronting the players during the training session on Wednesday evening. The fans had been livid at the defeat, and the incredulous way the team performed in the match. Several rumours have surfaced among the fans and media alike to explain the defeat, such as match-fixing and unpaid bonus. When inquired as to what transpired at the Selangor State Secretariat building (SUK), a fan who was there explained that the fans first raised a banner at the SUK playing field, which the team uses as their training ground, before taking to the pitch to surround them. The leader of the group then spoke to team captain Bunyamin Omar to demand explanation on the defeat, and whether any outside influence had interfered with their performance. However the fan told that Bunyamin simply explained that the loss happened due to a dip in the team's form. The leader also reportedly told coach Mehmet Durakovic who was there, to not field the first eleven in the second leg this Friday. However several players reacted badly to this, leading to an altercation between goalkeeper Syamim and a fan, as well as continued arguing until dusk.
Source: Zulhilmi Zainal, "Fans confront Selangor players during training", 8 October 2014, Goal, https://www.goal.com/en-my/news/3896/malaysia/2014/10/08/5167045/fans-confront-selangor-players-during-training
World Anti-Doping Agency
Organised crime controls at least a quarter of all sport played today, according to the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency. David Howman made the alarming claim after calling for Wada to form part of a new body to police threats to integrity in sport. “Those guys who are distributing drugs, steroids and HGH [human growth hormone] and EPO and so on, are the same guys who are corrupting people, the same guys who are paying money to people to fix games. They’re the same bad guys. Let’s get them together and make sure they can work out a plan. Because, otherwise, the bad guys are going to win.”
Source: Ben Rumsby, "Organised crime controls 25 per cent of world sport", 6 October 2014, The Telegraph, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/11144807/Organised-crime-controls-25-per-cent-of-world-sport-warns-Wada-chief-David-Howman.html
Three Bridges has signed former Whitehawk player Hakeem Adelakum, who was found not guilty of match fixing at a trial in June. The midfielder was one of a number of players at Whitehawk who were accused of rigging games, but the 23-year-old was subsequently found not guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court. Adelakum was sacked by Conference South club Whitehawk last December when the allegations were revealed, and has not played competitive football since. He made his debut for Three Bridges on Saturday, impressing in their 3-2 win over Hastings United, and manager Faili is keen for the youngster to put the accusations behind him. “He was found not guilty and everyone deserves another chance in football,” the Bridges boss explained.
Source: "Three Bridges give 'sacked' Whitehawk footballer another chance", 7 October 2014, Crawley News, https://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Bridges-sacked-Whitehawk-football-chance/story-23055144-detail/story.html
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- Tags: Anti-Corruption | Anti-Doping | Big League | El Salvador | Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) | FIFA | Football | International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) | INTERPOL | Italian Serie A | Italy | La Liga | Malaysia | Malaysian Super League | Match-Fixing | Serie A | Singapore | Singapore's Criminal Law act | Spain | Spanish Liga | Svenska Spel | Sweden | Sweden’s Crime Prevention Council (BRA) | Swedish Football Association | Swedish Sports Confederation | Uganda | Uganda Premier League | UNESCO | UNESCO World Sport Ministers Conference (MINEPS V) | United Kingdom | World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
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