INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 12-25 June 2017
In this bi-weekly edition we have a few cases of investigations and sanctions. The concern over gambling has been growing among those involved in sports. Several sports have already taken steps to curb this problem. In an effort to stop match-fixing, Portuguese professional footballers union, along with the Portuguese Football Federation have launched an app that will allow players and others to report match-fixing.
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.
Australian tennis pro charged with match-fixing and drug offences
Professional tennis player Isaac Frost stands accused of match-fixing and possessing and supplying dangerous drugs. The 28-year-old Australian allegedly approached former Australian Open boys champion Oliver Anderson about fixing a Challenger Tournament match in Traralgon, Victoria last year and could face up to 10 years in jail. "The investigation led detectives to suspect that a number of people received information that the match would allegedly be fixed and subsequently placed bets through various betting agencies," Queensland police said. Queensland police have also charged Frost with dealing cannabis, cocaine, oxycodone and other prescription medications to Anderson, tennis coach Dean Santillan, two middling former semi-professional tennis players and an aspiring professional surfer. Frost, who is from Brisbane, reached a career-high ranking of 458 in 2012 before taking a two-year break from tennis the following year.
Source: Issac Robinson, 14 June 2017, ESPN
John Delaney gives update on Athlone Town match-fixing investigation
The FAI's investigation into alleged match fixing at Athlone Town is nearing a conclusion. Irish football's governing body have been looking into three games since May, where UEFA flagged "irregular" betting patterns on Asian markets. They interviewed players, coaches and officials at the Midlands club with bank and phone records also scrutinized. FAI CEO John Delaney has told Midlands 103 that they're close to making an announcement. “Rea Walsh, our Head of Legal, and Fran Gavin, our Head of Competitions, have been looking into the Athlone matter and I’d expect sooner rather than later that whatever position they’re going to take will be announced. “So I’d expect an update on that certainly within the next week in terms of what is actually going to happen. “It’s be inappropriate for me to comment in terms of the merits or demerits of the case, or whatever is going on, but certainly there’ll be a position within the next week or so. “On the back of that, then, we’ll be able to make a public announcement.”
Source: 21 June 2017, Irish Examiner
Chinese Starcraft players banned for match fixing
Blizzard banned seven Chinese StarCraft 2 players Saturday for offenses ranging from smurfing to match fixing. Blizzard laid out the penalties last week for seven Chinese professionals for their illegal actions. The players in question are Pang “Punk” Hao, Wu “Coffee” Yishen, Yin “Silky” Yongxin, Zheng “JIN” Zhuoming, Chen-Zhang “BreakingGG” Yijie, and two players known only as JIN and . Punk has been banned from all official and sanctioned tournaments for two years for match fixing and smurfing, Coffee has been banned from all official and sanctioned tournaments for one year and half, for match fixing, Silky has been banned from all official and sanctioned tournaments for one year for smurfing, while JIN, Park, BreakingGG, and have all been banned from all official and sanctioned tournaments for six months. All seven players have had their Blizzard accounts permanently closed, and have lost all the rewards from related tournaments as well.
Source: Andrew Kim, 16 June 2017, SlingShot Esports
Basketball ACT boss Michael Haynes on the front foot as concerns rise about gambling on local Canberra Sports
Basketball ACT have already taken the huge step of asking people to leave the arena at local games in a bid to stamp out corruption in Canberra sport. Online sports betting agencies are offering live odds on amateur competitions in Canberra, raising the prospect of match-fixing in grassroots sport. Overseas betting agencies have opened markets on local basketball while punters have kept a keen eye on Capital Football's National Premier League for a number of years. Basketball ACT boss Michael Haynes has instructed his staff to be "quite vigilant" with courtsiders - people that watch the game and feed live game updates back to betting agencies on their phone. "If we see them there, then we ask them to leave the stadium, which we have had to do," Haynes said. "They've always left with no drama, it's never been an issue. My staff have been instructed to look for it, so it's not accidental. They're actually patrolling the crowd. "If they see someone that looks like they may be courtsiding then we go up, speak to them and find out why they're there, and if it's for that purpose we just ask them to leave." Basketball and soccer's status as popular sports all across the globe possibly open them up to more interest for off-shore bets. Capital Football boss Phil Brown refused to answer phone calls while Haynes says all sports have to be extremely vigilant to try and stamp out match-fixing before the problem goes too deep. "Conceivably if they are interested in Wednesday night at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, they could be interested in what's happening at the hockey centre on a Thursday night," Haynes said. "I just don't know. Basketball is popular around the world, so maybe that's a part of why it attracts a bit of attention from these betting operators as a sport." Small association leagues in Canberra and Tasmania have both come under the microscope of overseas betting agencies but Haynes says it is a nationwide issue. Canberra clubs have all been made aware of the situation as Basketball ACT look to get on the front foot and stamp out the possibility of match-fixing in local competitions. Senator Nick Xenophon will push to tighten gambling laws in a bid to halt corruption before it creeps into amateur sports. "I think it would be naive to think it was only happening in Canberra and Hobart," Haynes said. "All of the other states similarly have courtsiding policies now and the integrity framework with Basketball Australia. As a sport we're getting on the front foot and trying to deal with it as proactively as we can." Basketball Australia has partnerships with a number of Australian-based gambling agencies and cutting out exotic bets is always a topic of discussion with their partners. "They're doing what they can, but these international betting operators we just can't do anything about in regards to stopping them," Haynes said. "As I understand it, they can frame a market without any permission at all."
Source: Caden Helmers, 16 June 2017, Sydney Morning Herald
New App allows Portuguese players to report match-fixing
Match-fixing has been a major problem in most sports around the world at one time or another. In the U.S., one of the most notorious suspected cases of match fixing was in the early 20th century with shoeless Joe Jackson and the Chicago White Sox. There have been grumblings from players and fans in football, baseball, rugby, and just about every other sport out there from time to time through the years. Now, the Portuguese professional footballers union (SJPF) has joined forces with the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) to launch an app that will allow players and others to report match fixing. Some people prefer online casino gaming today simply because there’s almost no risk of fraud or deception. Checking out one, like William Hill casino login, can highlight this simple fact. One thing that appeals to players who want to combat this potentially serious issue is the fact that reporting suspected match-fixing can be done anonymously. Players can also provide personal contact information if they choose to, if they feel follow-up contact from investigating authorities could be needed. It’s not always easy to be in the locker room of a professional sports team, feeling frustrated at the most recent loss your team suffered, especially when you know there was something that could have been done differently to win. The moment you begin looking around the locker room, especially at the one or two players you most attribute the loss to, they don’t appear all that distraught. They seem almost relieved, or even satisfied. Could a fix have been involved? In the past, most players and even coaches were left to wonder what had really happened. There are sometimes suspicions within the locker room, accusations and innuendo, but match-fixing is extremely difficult to prove. And that’s where this campaign is seeking to make inroads, helping provide a place for players, coaches, and others who may have valuable insight the chance to inform on what could be extremely damaging behaviour to the league, team, and the sport itself. Recently, Portuguese police arrested six people in connection with a match-fixing scheme. Five of them were players from a second division team. SJPF President Joaquim Evangelista told FIFPro, “Players will only report if they trust you, and our mutual relationship is built upon trust.” He went on to add, “Despite this news [the arrest of six], people don’t realize the dangers of match-fixing. They don’t take any action to tackle the causes that are threatening the integrity of our game. Yet, there are obvious signs that cannot be ignored.” Some of signs that a player might get caught up in match-fixing can include unpaid wages. If a player is financially strapped, he or she is more likely to be tempted by these schemes. If clubs are having financial troubles, it opens them up to questionable outside "investors". Also, if there’s not a solid level of governance by the club that can certainly be a problem. Any steps to help cut down on match-fixing is often viewed as a good thing by clubs, fans, players, and even legitimate gambling establishments.
Source: 14 June 2017, PortuGOAL.net
Gambling in football: FA ends deals with gambling firms including Ladbrokes
The Football Association has ended all of its sponsorships with betting companies, including mutually terminating a long-term Ladbrokes deal. The decision follows a three-month review into the governing body's relationship with gambling firms. The FA says it will continue to share important information with companies to identify suspect betting patterns. Chief executive Martin Glenn thanked Ladbrokes for its "professionalism and understanding" on the change of policy. The betting company's chief executive, Jim Mullen, added: "We understand the FA's decision regarding their commercial partnerships on gambling." Mullen said Ladbrokes would continue to work with the FA "to ensure the integrity and trust of the sport is maintained". The Gambling Commission's executive director Tim Miller said: "This news will not impact on the ability for us, the FA and gambling companies to share information about suspected sports betting integrity issues." Football's relationship with gambling has come under recent scrutiny, with midfielder Joey Barton criticising the FA's "dependence on betting companies". Barton, who said he is addicted to gambling, was banned from football for 18 months after admitting an FA charge in relation to betting. Reacting to Barton's ban in April, former Stoke winger Matthew Etherington, who lost £1.5m at the height of his gambling addiction, told BBC Radio 5 live the industry should be better "regulated". "It's very hard and complex, but everyone needs to take a little bit more responsibility - the PFA [Professional Footballers' Association], the players, the FA and the gambling organisations themselves," the 35-year-old said.
Source: 22 June 2017, BBC Sports
ODDS AND ENDS
New Reports on Match Fixing funded by the European Union available
Over the last one and a half year, the European Union has financed four projects funded by the European Union on competition manipulation and public-private partnerships to identify sports betting risks. You can now read the first official reports from these projects such as the Precrimbet report that looks at the prevention of criminal risks associated with the sports betting market, and the Betmonitalert report which offers an in-depth look at monitoring and alert systems in the fight against competition manipulation.
Precrimbet full report:
Betmonitalert full report:
Source: 21 June 2017, European Union
CT17 final between India, Pakistan was 'fixed', claims KRK
After Pakistan cricket team has been crowned the Champions after defeating India in Champions Trophy 2017 final, some people continue to raise eyebrows on how the struggling green shirts got the better of the extremely powerful men in blues. Indian actor Kamaal R Khan has claimed recently that the match between India and Pakistan was fixed while the International Cricket Council (ICC) also took part in the act. He believes the Indian team would have never been defeated by "an eighth ranked team"if it wasn’t for "external help". He defended his opinion by saying there are interests of bookies and a large amount of bets are placed on both teams. He accused the Indian cricket board BCCI and ICC of taking bribes to help the Sarfraz XI win. The cricket board then approached players and forced them to play mediocre game, according to him. Khan pointed out some turning points in the match. He claimed Indian skipper Virat Kohli did below average captaincy as he retained two spinners, made Kedar Jadhav bowl after 40 overs, missed several run-out chances and helped the green shirts score beyond 300. Khan told his team could have chased the total of 339 if they wouldn’t have lost early wickets, which neither happened by chance nor brilliant bowling from pacer Mohammad Amir. Khan claimed that the strong Indian top order including Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni departed in quick succession according to the "fixed" plan. “Hardik Pandya struck huge sixes because he was not part of the plan,” he opined. This is not the first time someone from the region has accused the teams of match-fixing. Former Pakistan skipper Aamir Sohail had also accused the Sarfraz and co. for being ‘helped’ to enter the semi-finals. He had later on took his statements back and clarified.
Source: 20 June 2017, Dunya News
Caulker unhappy with delay over Sierra Leone match-fixing investigations
Former Sierra Leone first-choice goalkeeper Christian Caulker says he is unhappy he has been suspended from international football for almost three years without any investigation. Caulker, who plays for USA third tier league side IFK Maryland, was among 15 players and officials suspended indefinitely by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) over allegations of match-fixing in July 2014. All the players and officials denied any wrong doing and the SLFA promised at that time to investigate the allegations. "It's three years now since we've been suspended and nobody at the SLFA is saying anything to us," the 28-year old Caulker told BBC Sport. "This is frustrating for the four of us as it has impacted negatively in our careers. "We've not been able to join big clubs because of the match fixing tags put on our necks by the SLFA. "This is not fair. I'm sure those at the SLFA wouldn't be happy if their children, brothers or relatives were treated like us.” The three other players on the list are Sweden-based Ibrahim Koroma, Samuel Barlay - currently without a club - and ex-Leone Stars captain Ibrahim Kargbo, who retired from international football in 2015. The four players stand accused of attempting to fix a 2010 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Sierra Leone in Pretoria in 2008 which ended goalless. Caulker is calling on the SLFA to commence investigations now or lift their suspensions. "We are not against any investigation because we know we're innocent but let them do it now as it's long overdue. "If they can't investigate us let them lift our suspensions as I want to play for my country." "Three years of our career have already been wasted and we don't want it to extend any longer." The SLFA is yet to comment on the continued delays despite being contacted several times by BBC Sport. Originally the accusations were due to be investigated by an SLFA-appointed committee headed up by the country's internal affairs minister Paolo Conteh. However this committee was never fully functional after some of the accused officials and several members of the SLFA failed to recognise its authority. In March an ethics committee was constituted for the first time during the association's extra-ordinary congress. The new committee forms part of the judicial body of the SLFA and is yet to meet but is seen as the body that should deal with the match-fixing allegations.
Source: Mohamed Fajah Barrie, 19 June 2017, BBC Sport
- An interview with Michael Beloff QC - described as one of the "Godfathers of Sports Law" - Episode 43
- INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 2-14 May 2017
- Bribery in football and corruption at the IAAF – How does the Bribery Act 2010 apply?
- Sports data, betting, governance & the law: Interview with Steven Burton, Genius Sports - Episode 41