Belgian football clubs raided in police inquiry into alleged fraud
Several of Belgium's top football clubs have been raided as part of a police investigation into alleged fraud involving the transfer of players. Agents, referees and officials from top clubs including Anderlecht, Club Bruges and Standard Liege are being investigated, Belgian media report. Club Bruges' manager, Ivan Leko, is being questioned, along with prominent Belgian-Iranian agent Mogi Bayat.
More than 200 police officers took part in raids across several countries. Police also raided properties in France, Luxemburg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia, prosecutors said in a statement. A number of people now face questioning, the statement said.
The questioning of Mr Leko, whose team Club Bruges are battling to retain their place in the Champions League after losing 3-1 to Atletico Madrid last week, was later confirmed by the club. It is reported that Mr Bayat was arrested at his home on Wednesday. The agent is reportedly one of the main targets of the inquiry into "financial fraud and money-laundering".
The investigation, which began last year, will focus on "suspicious financial transactions" in Belgian professional football during the 2017-2018 season, according to Belgium's VRT News.
Source: 10 October 2018, BBC News
Belgium charges 19 over football fraud and match-fixing
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian prosecutors said on Friday they had charged 19 people, including two soccer referees, soccer agents and the coach of Belgian champions Club Bruges, with fraud or match-fixing. The offences ranged from criminal organisation to money laundering and corruption, federal prosecutors said.
Nine of the 19 remained in custody, including soccer agents Dejan Veljkovic and Mogi Bayat, charged with having set up schemes to hide fees paid to themselves and to players, and referee Bart Vertenten. Ivan Leko, the Croatian coach of champions Club Bruges, was among those released, although he is charged with money-laundering. He returned to training on Friday. I will fight back. This is not the first time I was on zero ... I didn’t deserve this,” he told the broadcaster VTM.
His club are playing in Champions League Group A with Atletico Madrid, AS Monaco and Borussia Dortmund. Of the others charged, a number are officials at clubs KV Mechelen and Waasland-Beveren, who played each other on the final day of the regular season in March.
Prosecutors suspect that match, won 2-0 by Mechelen, and one a week before when FC Antwerp beat Mechelen’s relegation rivals Eupen 2-0, were fixed. In that game, Vertenten awarded Antwerp a penalty after a foul committed just outside the penalty area.
Prosecutors say Veljkovic colluded with officials and referees to prevent Mechelen being relegated, although the club, winner of UEFA’s Cup Winners’ Cup in 1988, did in fact go down. Three months after the national side reached the World Cup semi-final, the news indicating uncomfortably close ties between agents, soccer officials and referees has dominated Belgian media.
Police raided 44 clubs and residences across Belgium on Wednesday, while a further 13 searches took place in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia. Among the nine soccer clubs targeted were Belgium’s “big three” of Anderlecht, Club Bruges and Standard Liege. The homes of directors, agents, referees and jewellers were also raided. Mechelen has denied engaging in any illegal practices. Vertenten’s fiancee Hetty Boons told VTM he stood accused of something that he had had nothing to do with. Bayat’s lawyer stressed to Belgian television that his client was not accused of match-fixing or corruption, only of money-laundering.
Leko’s lawyer said the only issue to be cleared up was a payment dating from 2015, before he was Bruges’s coach, and that there was no way that this could amount to money laundering. Veljkovic’s lawyer, Kris Luyckx, spoke to reporters but did not comment on whether or not his client was guilty of any wrongdoing. Of four people detained abroad, Belgian authorities have sought extradition for two.
Source: Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Kevin Liffey, 12 October 2018, Reuters Football
Victor Anichebe accuses his OWN club of match-fixing to FIFA after twice being asked "not to try" by coaches - including a game against local rivals!
Victor Anichebe has reported his own club, Beijing Enterprises, to FIFA over allegations of match-fixing. The former Everton and West Brom striker lodged the complaint after alleging he was asked "not to try" by coaches on two occasions, including for a game against their local rivals.
Anichebe questioned the instruction but claimed he was told by team-mates: "This is China, we do as we're told." The 30-year-old has been in dispute with the club since last October and sought legal advice to take up his case. Manchester-based sports lawyer Chris Farnell approached Beijing's general manager on Anichebe's behalf but his appeals for action have been ignored on two occasions and action has still to be taken.
While Anichebe never refused to play, the dispute has cost him a year of his playing career, one where he could have laid claim to a World Cup place with Nigeria, had he played regularly at a competitive level. Now Anichebe has taken the complaint — which is still to be denied by the club — to FIFA and he hopes football's governing body will take action. Chinese football has been blighted by match-fixing allegations in the past.
Shanghai Shenhua were stripped of their 2003 Chinese Super League title while in 2013, the Chinese FA fined 12 top-flight clubs £103,000, and banned 58 current and former officials, players and referees for match-fixing and bribery after a three-year investigation. Last year, Shenhua denied separate claims and threatened legal action after a 2-2 draw with Jiangsu Suning was questioned and the FA investigated similar allegations against Tianjin Quanjian and Teda following a 4-1 derby win for Teda.
Source: Simon Jones for the Daily Mail, 2 October 2018, DailyMail
PSG-Red Star Belgrade game under UEFA investigation into crowd trouble
French authorities investigating claims of match-fixing in Group C encounter at Parc des Princes on October 3 already underway. Both PSG and Red Star deny wrongdoing. UEFA have launched an investigation into crowd disturbances that marred Paris St Germain's 6-1 Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade this month.
PSG could face punishment for fans setting off fireworks during the match and were also fined 20,000 euros (£17,503) by the European football's governing body for a delayed kick-off. Red Star were charged with crowd trouble and illicit chants, following the match at Parc des Princes on October 3. French authorities confirmed last week they are investigating the game over suspicions of match-fixing. Both clubs have denied any wrongdoing.
A Red Star official is suspected of betting 5m euros (£4.4m) on the Serbian side losing the Group C match by five goals, French newspaper L'Equipe reported on October 12. PSG released a statement to say they "categorically reject any and all direct and indirect implication in relation to these suspicions". PSG are third in the Group C standings but level on points with second-placed Liverpool, with Red Star bottom and Napoli top of the table.
Source: 19 October 2018, Sky Sports
Danish Kaneria admits spot-fixing after six years and apologises to Essex
Former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria has admitted he spot-fixed after six years of denial. The 37-year-old has also apologised to former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield, who was sent to jail after Kaneria encouraged him to spot-fix. Essex Police say they are "currently reassessing the investigation" following Kaneria's admission.
Kaneria, who was banned from playing in England and Wales for life, says he "cannot live a life with lies". "It's been six years. I lost everything," the leg-spinner told Al Jazeera. "I lost friends, respect from fans. "I want to apologise to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, Essex Cricket Club and the fans, to Pakistan and my fans around the world. And to my wife and family - I have let them all down."
Kaneria was found to have pressured Westfield - who was handed a four-month prison sentence - into agreeing to concede 12 runs during an over of a one-day game for Essex against Durham in 2009. Kaneria was banned for life and described as "a grave danger to the game of cricket" by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who also banned Westfield for five years.
In 2014, Kaneria told BBC Sport he had not pressured Westfield and said if given the chance, he would ask his former team-mate why he had chosen to "destroy" his career. But he now says he knew Westfield - who received a £6,000 payment for his role - wanted to "become a rich cricketer". In reflecting on his denial of the crime, Kaneria says the ill-health of his father around the time of the spot-fixing scandal had been an influence.
"His health was getting worse and worse," added Kaneria. "I didn't have the courage to face him and tell him that I had done wrong. He was so proud of me and it would have caused him a lot of suffering."
Kaneria took 261 Test wickets for Pakistan - a figure only bettered by Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan. He exhausted all legal option in appealing against his lifetime ban but hopes he can return to the sport in order to "give something back", and asks for "people's forgiveness". Kaneria added: "If the ECB, International Cricket Council and other bodies would give me a second chance, I can help to educate young people in cricket, teach them that if you do wrong, you are finished, like me." Kaneria's spot-fixing timeline...
February 2009: Essex play Durham in a 40-over match
February 2012: Westfield is jailed for four months, of which he served two, for spot-fixing in that game. During the trial Kaneria was accused of applying "pressure" on Westfield to underperform for money
April 2012: Westfield and Kaneria are charged by the ECB for "alleged breaches of anti-corruption directives"
June 2012: Kaneria receives lifetime cricket ban while Westfield is suspended for five years
December 2012: Kaneria's appeal against the verdict is deferred
April 2013: Rearranged ECB appeal hearing sees Kaneria fail to overturn spot-fixing finding
August 2014: Kaneria's application to appeal his ban is deemed to be "totally without merit" and rejected by the Court of Appeal.
October 2018: Kaneria finally comes clean after six years of denials
Source: 18 October 2018, BBC Sport
Two year suspension and fine for Nigeria’s Loveth Donatus after conviction for tennis match-fixing offences
Nigerian tennis player Loveth Donatus has been suspended from the sport for two years and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of match-fixing and associated offences.
One year of the ban and the full amount of the fine are suspended on the proviso that she commits no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
Ms Donatus, an unranked 26-year old, was found to have accepted a financial inducement from a third party to lose a match at the ITF Women’s Circuit $10,000 tournament played in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in August 2016.
A Tennis Integrity Unit investigation established that in addition to the match-fixing offence she also failed to report a corrupt approach and further attempted to persuade a fellow player to deliberately under-perform, in return for payment.
The case against Ms Donatus was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H McLaren. His finding of guilt and imposition of the suspension means that with immediate effect she is prohibited from playing in or attending any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport, for the next 12 months.
The breaches of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program committed by Ms Donatus are as follows:
Section D.1.d: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
Section D.1.e: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.
Section D.1.g: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, offer or provide any money, benefit or Consideration to any other Covered Person with the intention of negatively influencing a Player's best efforts in any Event.
Section D.2.a.i: In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player's obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible.
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.
Source: 10 October 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
Filipino suspended for seven years after match-fixing during PDC World Darts Championship
Gilbert Ulang has received a seven-year suspension. The darts player from the Philippines was found guilty of match-fixing during the 2017 PDC World Darts Championship. Ulang would have influenced the outcome of the game for gambling purposes.
The Filipino lost 2-0 in sets to Kevin Simm in the preliminary round of the 2017 PDC World Darts Championship. The DRA had started an investigation to a possible match-fixing case due to a suspiciously high number of bets during this match.
"The Slayer" was interrogated by the disciplinary committee on May 23 and suspended by the Disciplinary Committee three months later. He then received a seven-year suspension. Additionally, Ulang was ordered to pay a contribution to costs in the sum of £2,500.
Source: 2 October 2018, Darts News
Three Thai chair umpires banned for life for match-fixing and betting offences
Three Thai chair umpires, Anucha Tongplew, Apisit Promchai and Chitchai Srililai, have been banned for life from officiating at or attending any professional tennis events, after being found guilty of match-fixing and betting offences.
Each of the officials admitted to betting on tennis matches at ITF Futures tournaments held in 2017 at which they were acting as chair umpires. They also manipulated scores inputted into the official scoring system, for betting-related purposes and personal profit.
The case was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Charles Hollander QC, following an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.
The lifetime bans apply with immediate effect and prohibit each individual from ever officiating at, or attending, any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.
The breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program committed by each party are as follows:
Section D.1.a: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition.”
Section D.1.b: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company; and appearing in commercials encouraging others to bet on tennis.”
Section D.1.d: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.”
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.
Source: 8 October 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
Alekseenko brothers banned for life for tennis match-fixing offences
Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer finds Gleb and Vadim Alekseenko guilty of multiple match-fixing offences, together with links to corrupt betting.
Ukrainian twin brothers Gleb and Vadim Alekseenko have been banned from tennis for life and each fined $250,000 after being found guilty of multiple match-fixing and associated offences. The case against the brothers, 35, was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H McLaren and based on an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.
In a decision announced today, Prof McLaren found them guilty of multiple match-fixing offences committed at a number of ITF Futures tournaments played in Romania, Russia, Germany and Turkey between June 2015 and January 2016. In addition, they were found to have solicited a third party to wager on matches in which they contrived the outcome.
The findings of guilt and imposition of the lifetime suspensions means that with immediate effect both players are prohibited from playing in or attending any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.
The breaches of the 2015 and 2016 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program they were found to have committed are as follows:
D.1.b. No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company; and appearing in com
D.1.d No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
Vadim Alekseenko is currently ranked 1113 in singles and reached a career-best of 497 in June 2014. Gleb Alekseenko is currently ranked 1724 in singles with a career-high of 609 in May 2011.
The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.
Source: 15 October 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
31 arrested for illegal horse betting activities
SINGAPORE: A total of 31 people, aged between 45 and 78, were arrested on Sunday (Oct 7) for their suspected involvement in illegal horse betting activities. In a news release, the police said officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the six police land divisions conducted raids at multiple locations including King George’s Avenue, Teban Gardens Road, Whampoa Drive, Ang Mo Kio, Eunos and Boon Lay.
The police arrested 27 men and four women, as well as seized cash amounting to about S$15,000, mobile phones, pens, pagers and documents such as betting records. Preliminary investigations revealed that the 31 suspects are believed to have been involved in various roles such as illegal bookmakers, runners as well as gamblers.
Investigation against the suspects are ongoing. Under the Betting Act, any person convicted of betting with a bookmaker faces a maximum fine of S$5,000 and/or up to six months’ jail. Any person found guilty of being involved in bookmaking faces a maximum fine of S$200,000 and up to five years’ jail.
“The Police take a serious view against all forms of illegal betting activities and will continue to take tough enforcement action against those involved, regardless of their roles. Members of the public are advised to steer clear of all forms of illegal gambling activities,” the news release added.
Source: 9 October 2018, Channel News Asia
Badminton World Federation (BWF)
BWF Helping Members to Build Integrity Capacity
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is working with its membership to strengthen national integrity programmes.
At a two-day workshop in Kuala Lumpur (14-15 October), the world-governing body brought together Secretaries General and Council members from the badminton associations of India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to share information and knowledge on four key pillars related to integrity: Rules System; Education and Awareness; Monitoring & Investigations; and Judicial Processes.
This BWF pilot project examined the current national structures around safeguarding the integrity of badminton and how to build capacity in that area and fortify the sport against corruption. The four BWF member associations shared common issues and considered the next steps in their respective integrity programmes.
Among the topics addressed by the BWF Integrity Unit were: Roles and Responsibilities for Integrity; BWF Ethics Regulations; National Badminton Rules Framework; External Rules Systems and Compliance; Values-Based Education; Sports Betting Industry; Betting Monitoring Companies; Information Gathering (Intelligence and Investigations); and Judicial Bodies.
The sessions included a joint presentation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), whose Recognise | Reject | Report theme addressed the importance of athletes recognising approaches, knowing what to do and how to reject these and ensuring they reported these approaches to corrupt badminton. This session looked at the roles and responsibilities of IOC and INTERPOL as well as links between crime and sport; approaches to athletes; and key steps for national badminton federations in the fight against corruption.
“This is an important and positive step in engaging our members on key subjects related to the integrity of badminton. We are in good shape at an international level so now we want to focus on national programmes and strengthen our members’ capacity to handle this complex matter,” said BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.
“We will evaluate how these two days have gone and get feedback from all involved as we move forward in developing comprehensive guidelines for national integrity programmes and rolling this out to a broader membership of national badminton associations.”
Thanking the IOC and INTERPOL for their valuable contribution, Høyer disclosed that participants from the four BWF member association will also be attending an IOC/INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Multi-Stakeholder Workshop in Malaysia, following the BWF meeting. That one-day gathering is part of ongoing efforts to help countries address the new criminal challenge posed by competition manipulation and other threats to the integrity of sport. These Integrity in Sport Multi-stakeholder Workshops are organised around the world to foster collaboration between law enforcement, the National Olympic Committee and national sports federations, public authorities (including Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and Sports etc), the betting industry and other actors involved in preventing the infiltration of crime into sport, particularly as related to competition manipulation.
Source: GAYLE ALLEYNE | BWF, 16 October 2018, Badminton World Federation https://bwfbadminton.com/news-single/2018/10/16/bwf-helping-members-to-build-integrity-capacity/
Council of Europe (COE); Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
Council of Europe and FIFA sign Memorandum of Understanding
Strasbourg, 05.10.2018 – Council of Europe Secretary General Thørbjorn Jagland and FIFA President Gianni Infantino have signed today at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the co-operation between the two institutions and further develop synergies and partnerships in areas of shared interest.
This landmark agreement focuses on four main areas of co-operation: Human Rights, Integrity and Good Governance in sport; Safety and Security at Football Matches; Mutual dialogue and Co-operation in view of Major Sport Events; and Institutional Co-operation through regular exchanges of views, good practices and the development of joint initiatives and co-ordination of operational activities.
During the ceremony of signature of the Memorandum of Understanding, Council of Europe Secretary General Thørbjorn Jagland stated: “Sport plays a pivotal role in connecting people, favouring inclusion and enhancing the social fabric by promoting Council of Europe key values. We advocate fair play and respect in sport to be safe, ethical and accessible to all, in order to contribute building inclusive and democratic societies respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law. This includes the growing concern of safeguarding children from sexual abuse in sport. Council of Europe expertise will be very valuable in this context”.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino added: “Following our initial meeting of last January, a new era of co-operation between FIFA and the Council of Europe has now started. With this Memorandum of Understanding and a concrete action plan for 2019, our collaboration is institutionalised and has become more concrete and measurable. It is a natural relationship, as we share common values and goals: transparency, accountability, integrity, safety in sport and respect for human rights, for children’s rights. It is in the best interest of football for all relevant entities to work together and enhance the power of the beautiful game to change lives”.
In the framework of this partnership, the two organisations will join forces for instance to address the issue of sexual violence against children in football, using Council of Europe standards (Council of Europe convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, known as “Lanzarote Convention”). Council of Europe is also a member in FIFA’s Child Protection Working Group. In addition, the two organisations will invigorate the fight against match-fixing and they will co-ordinate their efforts for the preparation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on the safety, security and services aspects of football matches. The collaboration will be detailed in the implementation of a Cooperation Plan to the Memorandum of Understanding (2018-2019).
Council of Europe has established co-operation with key stakeholders in the field of sport and the sport movement. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been concluded with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in November 2016 and a MoU has been signed in Strasbourg with UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) on last May 30th.
Source: 5 October 2018, Council of Euriope
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); International Olympic Committee (IOC)
UNODC and International Olympic Committee enter partnership to tackle corruption in sport
6 October 2018 - While the presence of corruption and criminality surrounding sport is not a new phenomenon, the last decade has seen a noticeable increase in illegal activities designed to exploit sports for illicit gain. With the realization that many of the most profitable illegal activities involve a strong international dimension, UNODC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have signed an agreement to fight competition manipulation and related corruption in sport.
Harnessing joint expertise, UNODC and the IOC, in strong collaboration with other partners such as INTERPOL, will conduct a wide range of activities, including providing technical assistance to Member States in the prosecution of competition manipulation, and delivery of national and regional joint training sessions.
The cooperation will also involve the development of standard-setting guides and tools, which will raise awareness and build the capacity of criminal justice communities and sports organizations to fight corruption in sport and address the threat to sport integrity posed by competition manipulation.
"UNODC views this new and enhanced partnership with the IOC as a cornerstone of the international community's action to fight corruption in sport," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, speaking at the first-ever Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Friday.
This cooperation, Mr. Lemahieu continued, "will enable more effective coordination and cooperation which is key in stopping those looking to exploit sport for illegal or illicit gain".
UNODC and the IOC have collaborated on a number of projects and initiatives in the field of corruption and sport, such as the booklet and study on Criminal Law Provisions for the Prosecution of Competition Manipulation.
As part of their collaboration, UNODC and the IOC have also worked closely on the development and launch of the International Partnership against Corruption (IPACS), a multi-stakeholder platform with the mission "to bring together international sports organizations, governments, inter-governmental organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport."
The agreement comes at a time of growing international momentum to address this problem and to put into place strong counter measures. At the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, the only international legally-binding anti-corruption instrument, a resolution on Corruption in Sport was adopted: a major milestone in tackling this crime. It sets out a wide range of issues to be addressed and measures to be promoted, including sport-related procurement, organization of sport events, competition manipulation, illegal betting, protection of reporting persons and good governance. At the time of its adoption the resolution was supported by 183 States.
Source: 6 October 2018, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
ODDS AND ENDS
Integrity in Sport: From Institutional Corruption to Match-Fixing and Betting
Doping is not the only area where integrity in sports competition comes into play. The Olympism in Action Forum also addressed the attacks on the integrity of sporting events by the manipulation of competition, linked in particular to sports betting. Additionally, it looked at the global integrity of sport organisations, with a focus on the efforts being made to tackle the risks of corruption. Every time fans hear another story about bribery or other forms of corruption, the credibility of the entire world of international sport, including the Olympic Movement, gets called into question. Improving governance and boosting transparency and accountability are keys to maintaining its reputation.
Panellists discussed ways to build better awareness of the risks of corruption and promote greater transparency and accountability by stakeholders in the Movement as the best way to mitigate these risks.
The IOC has worked for many years to combat corruption and uphold integrity, in particular as the bidding process for the Olympic Games may create risks of corruption; this has been its focus since 1999. The IOC was the first sports organisation to set up an independent Ethics Commission the same year, and it has since adopted a Code of Ethics, term and age limits, and voting restrictions in cases of conflicts of interests, including when linked to IOC Members’ home nation or sport.
Amongst the new measures taken by the IOC: the improvement of the IOC Ethics Commission’s independence with the majority of members, including the Chair, who are not linked to the IOC; an IOC public register of consultants working for a candidature; the publication of the Host City Contract; and a new awareness-raising programme for IOC Members.
Panellist Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, credited this “evolving framework” with helping to make great progress recently, though Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said she would still like to see “greater transparency, accountability and openness in sport”.
Partnerships with governments and intergovernmental organisations are key for sports organisations’ integrity. The newly formed International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) enables the development of pragmatic working methods between governments, intergovernmental organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Council of Europe, and international sports organisations.
A breakout session then examined further what happens when trust in sport is threatened by match-fixing and betting. As technology has evolved in recent years, betting has become ever more globalised and easy. This is intertwined with the problem of match-fixing, which can ensnare referees, officials, coaches and athletes.
In 2013, the IOC created the Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS), which enables exchanges of information and intelligence between International Federations and multi-sports event organisers and private and public sport betting operators, national betting authorities and law enforcement agencies.
The IOC has also developed robust educational tools for the athletes, their entourage and sports officials, all of which will be coming to life at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games at the Believe in Sport booth. The IOC also recently renewed its partnership with INTERPOL that provides training programmes to raise awareness and encourages exchange of intelligence at national level between law enforcement agencies and sports organisations.
Every day there are thousands of sporting events that go on without a problem. Our challenge is identifying the one that has a problem and categorically the way to do that is for sports organisations, government regulators and law enforcement to work together. -- Richard Watson, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission in the UK
As with corruption in institutions, tackling match-fixing is a collaborative effort. Session participant Richard Watson, the Executive Director of the Gambling Commission in the UK, said: “Every day there are thousands of sporting events that go on without a problem. Our challenge is identifying the one that has a problem and categorically the way to do that is for sports organisations, government regulators and law enforcement to work together.”
Source: 5 October 2018, Olympic.org
Match-fixing: Hong Kong vows to uphold integrity of cricket after three players are charged in corruption probe
Cricket Hong Kong (CHK) has vowed to uphold the integrity of the sport after three local players were charged by the world governing body, ICC, with breaching its Anti-Corruption Code, including match-fixing. Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Haseeb Amjad were on Monday hit with a total of 19 charges related to international matches played by Hong Kong between 2014 and 2016. All three players have been suspended by the ICC and CHK has followed suit.
“While Cricket Hong Kong is unable to comment directly on these very serious allegations, we are committed to upholding the integrity of the sport and have taken all measures required by our own anti-corruption practices and those of the ICC,” said CHK chairman John Cribbin. “We will continue to work closely with the ICC to educate the players and safeguard the integrity of the game worldwide.”
Irfan had completed a 30-month ban on May 4, 2018 after he admitted failing to report several requests to influence the outcome of matches. He never acted on the approaches. The latest charges against Irfan involve Hong Kong’s ICC World Cup qualifying match against Scotland on January 13, 2014, in Queenstown, New Zealand, which Hong Kong won by 17 runs; World Cup qualifier, Hong Kong versus Canada on January 17, 2014, in Rangiora, which Hong Kong won by nine wickets; T20 Hong Kong versus Zimbabwe on March 12, 2014, in Chittagong, which Hong Kong won by four wickets; the World T20 qualifiers in 2015 and the World T20 finals in 2016.
Charges against Nadeem, Irfan’s older brother, involve Hong Kong versus Scotland, Hong Kong versus Canada and the World T20 finals in 2016. Haseeb’s charges relate to Hong Kong versus Scotland and Hong Kong versus Canada. CHK announced on Tuesday that it had provisionally, indefinitely and immediately suspended the three players from all cricket activities in Hong Kong pending the result of ICC investigations. The players have 14 days, from October 8, to respond to the charges. Cricket Hong Kong said it would it not make no further comment in respect of these charges. [...]
Source: Nazvi Careem, 9 October 2018, South China Morning Post
Korea (Rep. of)
Football player receives financial reward for rejecting match-fixing offer
South Korea's pro football league said Wednesday it gave a financial reward to a football player who rejected a match-fixing offer. The K League Commissioner Kwon Oh-gap handed 70 million won ($62,200) to Lee Han-saem of Asan Mugunghwa FC at its office for his righteous actions last month. Lee rejected a match-fixing offer from former player Jang Hack-yong on Sept. 21. Jang then tried to lure Lee to receive a red card during a match against Busan IPark in exchange for 50 million won, but the Asan defender refused to accept his proposal and immediately reported it to the police. Jang is currently in police custody. The K League said Lee showed a good example of correctly dealing with match-fixing proposals under its manual and brought awareness to misconduct in the sport.
Under the league code, those who report wrongdoings and illegal actions related with the league operations can get a cash reward between 10 million won and 100 million won. "I've been fully taking the league's and my club's education programs on preventing misconduct," Lee said. "Any K League players would have done same. I'm sure that the K League, a stage for me, my teammates and football fans, will not be tainted by illegal actions." The K League was hit by a massive match-fixing scandal in 2011. Since then, the league has been operating various programs to prevent match fixing.
Source: 17 October 2018, Korea Herald
Swedish Gambling Authority creates anti-match fixing council
Swedish regulator Lotteriinspektionen has announced the creation of its first anti-match-fixing council ahead of the re-regulation of the Swedish market in 2019. Katarina Abrahamsson has been appointed as the regulator’s first anti-match-fixing coordinator and will be tasked with promoting strategic and operational cooperation to counter match-fixing. [...]
Source: Robert Simmons, 17 October 2018, EGR
INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS
Enhancing national sports integrity programmes – INTERPOL and the IOC
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have provided training to enhance Malaysia’s efforts in investigating and sanctioning competition manipulation in sports.
The training brought together more than 130 representatives from Malaysian law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organizations, as well as representatives from Indonesia.
The two-day event (16 and 17 October) was hosted in close cooperation with the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission, Olympic Council of Malaysia, and the Badminton World Federation. It was supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Sportradar.
Opening the workshop, RMP Senior Assistant Commissioner Dato' Zaini Bin Jass said: "Establishing cooperation between law enforcement agencies and sports governing organizations is vital in creating a good platform to erradicate corruption, as well as a landmark to enhance the image and integrity of sports, so that issues such as corruption, doping and match-fixing do not compromise athletes."
Poul-Erik Høyer, President, Badminton World Federation, said: “Athletes are at the centre of our work and every athlete has the right to compete in clean and fair sport. Our athletes deserve the best possible environment to compete and train in, and it’s our responsibility together with our membership to deliver that”.
INTERPOL’s Director for Organized and Emerging Crime, Paul Stanfield, said: “It is important that athletes recognize attempts to corrupt them, as well as how to handle and report these. The INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force is working in particular to strengthen links among members in the Asia-Pacific region and also with key international sports bodies such as the Badminton World Federation.”
Following the multi-stakeholder workshop, an investigators training took place for sports governing bodies and law enforcement agencies tasked with investigating allegations, suspicions or reports related to the manipulation of a sports competition and other breaches of sports integrity.
The course included practical scenario-based exercises designed to enhance relevant skills and assist in the transfer of learning to the work environment. It was based on the INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity.
Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of Integration said: “Building the capacity of nations to work together internally and with regional and international stakeholders has been reaffirmed in the recent trainings in Malaysia. These trainings will hopefully assist both Malaysia and Indonesia in addressing the very real threat of competition manipulation to the integrity of sport in the region.”
INTERPOL and the IOC recently expanded their joint global capacity-building and training programme until 2021 to protect the integrity of sports.
Source: 22 October 2018, INTERPOL
Kenya’s ex-sports minister charged over Olympic corruption
NAIROBI: Former Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario and two other officials were on Friday formally charged with corruption relating to the 2016 Rio Olympics on Friday. Wario pleaded not guilty to six charges levelled against him of abuse of office and was released on a one million shilling ($10,000, 8,600 euros) bond.
However, Kipchoge Keino, a two-time Olympic gold medallist on the track and a former National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chief, did not appear at the hearing in a Nairobi anti-corruption court. Chief prosecutor Noordin Haji said in a statement that Keino will be given the opportunity to “record a further statement”, with a decision to be taken on his case in seven days. Keino’s lawyer Cecil Miller told AFP his client had been freed, but was required to report back to the police on October 23. Keino is facing two counts of using his office to misappropriate funds during the Rio Games.
Source: 20 October 2018, The News
- Anti-Corruption Anti-Doping Argentina Badminton Badminton World Federation (BWF) Beijing Beijing Enterprises Belgium China Council of Europe (COE) Cricket Darts Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Football France Fraud Hong Kong Horseracing International Olympic Committee (IOC) Kenya Korea (Rep_ of) Lotteriinspektionen Malaysia Match Fixing Match-Fixing Nigeria Olympic Pakistan PDC World Darts Championship Philippines Singapore South Korea Spot-Fixing Sweden Swedish Gambling Authority Tennis Thailand Ukraine Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)