Weekly integrity in sport update from INTERPOL 11-17 January 2016

published on 19 January 2016

This week there are several cases of match-fixing in cricket being reported in New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Interesting to note is a suspension made by the International Cricket Council against a player who failed to report. This one highlights the importance of reporting approaches of match-fixing in order to protect the integrity of sports and sportsmanship.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

New Zealand

Our Match-Fixing Corresponding: In shocking new accusations made by a newspaper in New Zealand, it is alleged that Mohammad Amir, the once-disgraced Pakistani pacer, is back to his match-fixing ways again. “We have proof, solid proof,” read the editorial of the New Zealand Enquirer, “that Amir took money to perform well at the T20 against the Kiwis.” “The devious plan did not work at first, with him almost getting Kane Williamson caught,” said Fred Smith, sports editor of the New Zealand Enquirer at a press conference. “But they still managed to bring to fruition this unsportsmanlike business by taking the wicket of Matt Henry and maintaining an economy of 1 for 31 from four overs.” In reply to a question about whether the Enquirer had an leads on who had organised the match-fixing, Smith replied in the affirmative, taking out a piece of paper from a file. “The name of the mastermind who paid him to perform in this match is a shadowy organisation by the name of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Source: Khabaristan Today, "Match-fixing allegations: Amir took money to perform well at NZ T20", 16 January 2016, Pakistan Today, https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/01/16/features/match-fixing-allegations-amir-took-money-to-perform-well-at-nz-t20/

South Africa

Two ‘active’ former Test cricketers are believed to be involved in the fresh match-fixing scandal that hit South African cricket on Thursday, English daily The Guardian reported.

Investigators working on the case are understood to have interrogated 47 players and staff in the country. On Thursday, former South Africa One-day International and Twenty20 player Gulam Bodi was named as the person charged under Cricket South Africa’s anti-corruption code.

Bodi was charged with contriving to fix, or otherwise improperly influence aspects of the 2015 South African domestic Twenty20 competition. Those proven guilty to have manipulated matches could face potential jail sentences with match-fixing illegal in South Africa under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act Law. The law contains a clause for sporting events. It was passed in 2004, four years after the former SA captain Hansie Cronje was banned for life for his involvement in match-fixing.

Source: AP, "Two former Test cricketers involved in SA match-fixing scandal: report", 17 January 2016, Dawn Sport, https://www.dawn.com/news/1233396/two-former-test-cricketers-involved-in-sa-match-fixing-scandal-report

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s cricket captain Angelo Mathews was summoned on Thursday to the Financial Crimes Division (FCID) and asked to appear again tomorrow to give his views on the match fixing issue that has taken local sports by storm. National cricketers Kusal Janith Perera and Rangana Herath had been grilled by the FCID for about six hours on January 12, over their own complaints that they were approached to under-perform during the recently concluded West Indies tour of Sri Lanka. National cricketers have been asked to report such incidents without delay if and when they are approached by agents of book-makers active around the world.

Sri Lanka Cricket’s new Secretary Mohan de Silva told the Sunday Times, “It is natural that Mathews as the captain of the Sri Lanka national team would have to explain his side of the story.” He said the national team’s Manager Jerry Woutersz gave a statement to the FCID on Friday. “We would do everything to ensure the safety and integrity of the national cricketers, but, if a cricketer is involved in any misdeeds we will also ensure that he is given the harshest possible punishment", de Silva said. “When we got wind of this issue, we began to work with the local anti-corruption unit of the ICC (International Cricket Council) and this is the normal course of action. But, somehow the story also attracted the attention of the Sports Minister and he in turn handed the matter to the Police”, he added.

Source: S. R. Pathiravithana, "Match-fixing probe: Kusal asked to get out below 18 ", 17 January 2016, The Sunday Times, https://www.sundaytimes.lk/160117/sports/match-fixing-probe-kusal-asked-to-get-out-below-18-179077.html

ODDS AND ENDS

CONCACAF

Match fixing allegations during the 2015 Gold Cup tournament turned out to be a false alarm. CONCACAF, football’s governing body in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, has found no evidence of match fixing during the quarterfinal and semifinal matches of the 2015 Gold Cup. “CONCACAF found no clear or convincing evidence of match fixing or an intentional effort to affect the results of the Gold Cup 2015 matches,” said the organization in a statement, adding that the decisions could be attributed to “simple mistakes, errors in positioning, and/or lack of concentration” Mexico‘s 2-1 semifinal victory over Panama during last year’s Gold Cup has been clouded with controversy. After the game, Panama Football Federation president Pedro Chaluja said that he wanted FIFA and CONCACAF to look into a possible match-fixing. The allegations were then followed by the statement from referee Mark Geiger, who admitted making errors, which impacted the outcome of the game. The review, which was led by CONCACAF acting General Secretary Ted Howard, included interviews with referees, officials, technical staff, and members of the confederation referee advisory group. After the incident, CONCACAF also determined that the entire referee and match official department required an overhaul. The changes included new financial terms for referees and other match officials as well as the method of appointing officials of matches in line with FIFA guidelines. “CONCACAF’s referees are critical to our organization’s mission, and we are proud to have dedicated officials working to ensure that the Confederation’s tournaments are officiated with integrity,” said Howard. “These changes will provide our referees, officials, and assessors with the proper structure, training, and support to carry out their responsibilities on the field, while acting in the best interests of the game.

Source: Criz Hombrebueno, "CONCACAF probe reveals no evidence of match fixing at Gold Cup", 14 January 2016, Calvin Ayre, https://calvinayre.com/2016/01/14/sports/concacaf-probe-reveals-no-evidence-of-match-fixing-at-gold-cup/

Jordan

National coach of Jordan’s football team Paul Put has resigned, according to a statement on the official website of the football Association of Jordan. The reasons for the resignation are not called. French publication L’equipe reports that Paul Put submitted a resignation amid match-fixing scandal in Belgium. He is among the 14 suspects in the case. According to the indictment, these people colluded with the Chinese businessman and secured the "desired results" of matches of the championship of Belgium in the years 2004-06. The article reports that suspicion fell on the Field of Put on activity as head coach, "Lers", which he conducted in 2004-05. The Belgian headed the national team of Jordan in June 2015.

Source: AP, "Coach Jordan has resigned because of allegations of involvement in match-fixing", 13 January 2016, Israel Today, https://en.israel-today.ru/coach-jordan-has-resigned-because-of-allegations-of-involvement-in-match-fixing.html

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Hong Kong

Hong Kong all-rounder Irfan Ahmed has been suspended and charged with failing to disclose a match-fixing approach, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said. The 26-year-old Pakistan-born cricketer faces a ban of up to five years if he is found guilty by an ICC tribunal after falling foul of the world governing body’s anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU). “Failing to disclose to the ACSU (without undue delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code,” the ICC said in a statement on Monday.

Ahmed’s lawyer said his player was not corrupt and had rejected an approach to fix games from a former Pakistan player. “(The former cricketer) was like a father figure to him and (Ahmed) was approached with a corrupt offer which he rejected,” Australian barrister Kevin Egan told the Sydney Morning Herald. “But the only criminality alleged against him by the ICC was simply having failed to report that approach. Hong Kong Cricket Association chief executive Tim Cutler offered support to Ahmed, who was expected to return for the World Twenty20 in India in March. “We are firmly committed to upholding the integrity of our sport and we fully support the ICC’s broadened concern around this grave threat to the soul of cricket”.

Source: AP, "Hong Kong cricketer suspended with corruption charge", 13 January 2016, StaBroek News, https://www.stabroeknews.com/2016/sports/01/13/hong-kong-cricketer-suspended-corruption-charge/

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