This is the second Bi-Weekly Bulletin of INTERPOL’s Crimes in Sport Team, which replaces the previous Weekly Media Recap.
In this bulletin, the floor is given to the Council of Europe for introducing their 18-month project called ‘Keep Crime Out Of Sport’ (KCOOS), which INTERPOL is an associate partner, pulling together international efforts to tackle competition manipulation.
In the last two weeks, there were several match-fixing reports from different parts of the world, especially on football which is still the most affected sport. However it is good to see that the law enforcement and sport are working on it therefore resulted in various investigations and sanctions. It is also encouraging to see the Dutch bank is addressing the money laundering aspect of match-fixing.
There were also two reports on doping which affects not only athletics but all other sports such as tennis, football, cricket, cycling etc.
Last but not least, INTERPOL will organise the 8th INTERPOL Match-fixing Task Force (IMFTF) and a Partnership Development Meeting (PDM) in Brussels, where several international and national stakeholders, together with the law enforcement task force members have been invited to participate.
THE FLOOR TO...
Cassandra Fernandes, Senior Project Officer, Keep Crime Out Of Sport (KCOOS), Council of Europe – together against manipulations of sports competitions
One may wonder about the political priority level given to the manipulation of sports competitions, which has come into the spotlight during the last decade, compared to other policy areas. However, when we talk about organised and cross-border crime, financial crime, offences including aiding and abetting, blackmail, coercion and the threat to life, to name a few, the significance of this issue takes on alarming proportions. Given the international aspect of this phenomenon, relevant actors need to come together and develop measures to fight match-fixing and regulate sports betting in synergy. Given the Council of Europe’s multi-sectoral approach to a number of issues, it was in a fantastic position to have adopted the first legal instrument for this domain in 2014, the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. This Convention is now open to signatures and ratifications worldwide, following a lengthy drafting process including various institutions and countries from a number of continents.
The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the investigating officer probing the 2013 IPL match-fixing scam to remain present in court and submit a report regarding "further steps taken" with regard to arresting "wanted accused persons" and after collecting sufficient evidence to file a supplementary charge sheet against them. In an earlier affidavit, the Mumbai crime branch had informed the court that it has arrested 22 accused, filed a charge sheet against them and sought permission from the magistrate to conduct further probe. The high court now wants to know the progress made. A bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik heard a public interest litigation filed in 2013 by activist Ketan Tirodkar seeking CBI probe into the alleged scam.
Source: Rosy Sequeira, "Bombay high court seeks report on 2013 IPL match-fixing scam", 1 April 2016, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Bombay-high-court-seeks-report-on-2013-IPL-match-fixing-scam/articleshow/51637833.cms
Another arraignment is expected today in connection with match fixing charges relating to the UEFA U-21 Championship Group One qualifiers. 21-year-old Seyble Zammit was arraigned on Wednesday and remanded in custody. On Monday, Times of Malta reported that the police had questioned a number of Malta U-21 players who took part in last week's March 23 game, won 1-0 by Montenegro, as part of their investigation into allegations that the qualifier may have been the subject of a match-fixing approach. The Malta FA initially declined to comment but later said it was informed that the investigation was underway and it was working closely with the authorities. Reports that the Group One qualifier, won 1-0 by Montenegro, may have attracted the attention of match-fixers surfaced the day after the match. The fact that illegal betting is known to be rife in Montenegro meant that last week’s Group One UEFA Championship qualifier was regarded as a high-risk match as far as betting is concerned. The local football body is also likely to have alerted UEFA about the case.
Source: AP, "Another match fixing arraignment expected today", 1 April 2016, Times of Malta, https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160401/local/another-match-fixing-arraignment-expected-today.607477
Dutch central bank DNB launched an investigation into possible money laundering in professional football. The financial authority is investigating banks and trust companies to find out whether the financial sector is properly able to recognize and address match fixing and shady transfer deals, DNB announced on Thursday, ANP reports. Over the past period DNB officials already talked to, among others, the government and sports associations. Next the financial watchdog will approach a wide selection of banks. The results of the investigation are expected in June. According to the bank, it is already clear that football is prone to corruption in several different ways. This includes royalties not being paid correctly and football clubs evading taxes. Money laundering also easily works into clubs’ ownership and transactions associated with broadcasting rights.
Source: Janene Pieters, "Dutch central bank to investigate football match fixing", 31 March 2016, NL Times, https://www.nltimes.nl/2016/03/31/dutch-central-bank-to-investigate-football-match-fixing/
THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) has opened formal investigations into allegations of match-fixing raised by ZIFA ahead of the Warriors’ back-to-back qualifiers of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations against Swaziland. ZIFA raised the red flag after a whistleblower provided damning information implicating axed executive committee member Edzai Kasinauyo, former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, former national team coach Ian Gorowa and fired Warriors’ assistant coach Nation Dube in allegedly working on manipulating the results. In a letter addressed to ZIFA chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, CAF general secretary Hicham El Amrani requested the national association to provide all documentation and elements relating to the allegations.
Source: "Caf opens probe on match-fixing", 31 March 2016, Chronicle, https://www.chronicle.co.zw/caf-opens-probe-on-match-fixing/
A Hungarian court has handed out suspended prison sentences, bans and fines to 12 soccer players, a coach and the two organizers of match-fixing incidents which took place from 2007-2009 involving Budapest's REAC team. The Pest District Court said Wednesday that the players received up to 2,500 euros ($2,840) each per match to ensure results in seven matches in Hungary's top division and league cup. Two players were acquitted even though they accepted bribes because they did not play in the matches in question and the statute of limitations had expired. REAC director Robert Kutasi killed himself in 2012, shortly after several players were taken into police custody on allegations of match-fixing. Two other similar trials, including one involving referees allegedly fixing international matches, are still ongoing.
Source: AP, "12 Hungary Players, Coach, Organizers Found Guilty of Match-Fixing", 30 March 2016, Daily Mail, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3515922/12-Hungary-players-coach-organizers-guilty-match-fixing.html
The Asian Football Confederation has suspended two Thai referees pending an investigation into allegations of match-fixing. Thanom Borikut and Chaiya Mahapab have been provisionally suspended for 60 days by the AFC’s disciplinary committee and an application has been made to the world governing body, Fifa, to have the ban extended worldwide. “The Football Association of Thailand has been notified of the decisions today,” said an AFC statement. “The AFC has a zero tolerance towards match manipulation. The AFC works to combat match-fixing... to combat match-fixing on the continent through its three-point strategy of prevention, detection and response.” Thanom and Chaiya had previously been banned by the FAT following a series of questionable calls. Thanom, 46, is arguably the most well-known football referee in Thailand for the wrong reasons.
Source: AP, "Two Thai referees sidelined for ‘match-fixing’ ", 3 April 2016, Bangkok Post, https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/919397/two-thai-referees-sidelined-for-%E2%80%98match-fixing%E2%80%99
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has expelled board member, Edzai Kasinauyo for his involvement in an attempt to fix Zimbabwe’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Swaziland. Zimbabwe’s national team was rocked by a match-fixing scandal that involved Former ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya, ex-Warriors coach Ian Gorowa and Hwange coach Nation Dube before the doubleheader against Swaziland, they have been formally charged with match-fixing. The association’s former programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana and local player intermediary Kudzai Shabba made up the list of people who were charged and summoned to appear before the ZIFA disciplinary committee.
Source: AP, "ZIFA expels official and charges five with match-fixing ", 31 March 2016, The Citizen, https://www.citizen.co.za/1056448/zifa-expels-official-and-charges-five-with-match-fixing/
Martin Demichelis has endured a chastening few weeks on the field -- now the Manchester City defender is in trouble off it too after being charged with misconduct in relation to alleged betting by the English Football Association. Demichelis, 35, is accused of having broken worldwide rules which came into existence on August 1 2014 to prevent players from betting on any football activity whether inside or outside of their domestic league. "It is alleged the player committed 12 breaches of FA Rule E8 concerning football matches between 22 January 2016 and 28 January 2016. He has until 5pm on 5 April 2016 to respond to the charge," said an FA statement: Rule E8 states: "A Participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on - (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters." There is no suggestion that Demichelis was involved in match fixing nor that he bet on games in which he was involved.
Source: AP, "Martin Demichelis: Manchester City star charged over betting ", 30 March 2016, CNN, https://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/30/sport/martin-demichelis-betting-football-manchester-city/index.html?eref=rss_world
The president of the Russian tennis federation says Maria Sharapova could have her disciplinary hearing for doping in June. Sharapova has been provisionally suspended and faces a possible ban of up to four years after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January, though a reduced punishment is possible if she can show she did not intend to cheat. Shamil Tarpishchev tells the state Tass news agency that "the hearings could be put off until June," adding that was "not official information, but my opinion." Tarpishchev says he is in regular contact with Sharapova and says she is continuing to train. Sharapova has said she took meldonium for medical reasons and was not aware it had been banned for 2016.
Source: AP, "Russian tennis president: Sharapova hearing could be in June", 30 March 2016, Herald on line, https://www.heraldonline.com/sports/article68968687.html
The anti-doping watchdog is to review its failure to warn officials about a British doctor who allegedly provided banned drugs to around 150 elite sportspeople, despite being alerted to the case two years ago. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said it would launch an independent investigation after the culture secretary, John Whittingdale, ordered immediate action in the wake of allegations that Mark Bonar prescribed performance-enhancing drugs to Premier League footballers, England cricketers and Tour de France cyclists, among others.
Bonar, a doctor at a private London clinic, was recorded telling an elite runner sent covertly by the Sunday Times that he had provided banned performance-enhancing drugs to “lots of professional athletes”. He later wrote the runner prescriptions for growth hormone and steroids. He named Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Birmingham City as among football clubs whose players he has treated. All four clubs rejected this, describing the claims as utterly false and without evidence. Bonar, 38, denied the allegations on Sunday in a series of messages posted on what appears to be his Twitter account…He also denied prescribing hormone replacement therapy to sportsmen to enhance their performance…
Sapstead released a lengthy statement explaining why UKAD had taken no action against Bonar when concerns were first raised. It began an investigation after the unnamed sportsman told the organisation about his worries about Bonar during interviews in April and May 2014, she said. She explained, however, that UKAD only has powers to investigate doctors governed by a sport, plus there was no corroboration of the claims, so the sportsman was encouraged to seek more evidence and go instead to the GMC. When the sportsman provided UKAD investigators with handwritten prescriptions in October 2014, Sapstead added, the organisation felt there were no grounds to refer the case to the GMC. The GMC said it too would look into Bonar’s alleged actions “as a matter of urgency”… Bonar has been registered with the GMC without a licence to practice since June last year, meaning he is banned from medical work such as writing prescriptions. Conditions attached to this prohibit him from offering a treatment called total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, outside a hospital. This relates to the medical practitioners tribunal hearing Bonar faces later this month over the allegations concerning the cancer patient’s treatment.
Source: Peter Walker, James Riach, "UK Anti-Doping to review failure to flag doctor accused of providing banned drugs", 3 April 2016, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/apr/03/uk-anti-doping-to-review-failure-to-flag-doctor-accused-of-providing-banned-drugs
SA Rugby has for the first time addressed the potential threat of match fixing in the sport by putting in a place a monitoring service for Vodacom Super Rugby and Springbok Test matches in 2106. SA Rugby has partnered with Sportradar, a Swiss-based global leader in providing data services to media companies, bookmakers, sports federations and state authorities, to operate a match fixing detection service. SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said: “We have recently seen allegations of match fixing in other South African sports and it is a threat that SA Rugby is not complacent about. “In the past few years, World Rugby has really stepped up their quest in ensuring the integrity of the game is upheld with their ‘Keep Rugby Onside’ campaign and we fully support that. “All our teams and competitions count among the best in the world, so it’s imperative that we monitor global sport to spot the threats, on the horizon." “SA Rugby’s mission statement says they want to ‘provide strategic leadership and standards of excellence to make South Africa the best rugby nation in the world’ and I think they have shown just that with this new partnership with Sportradar.”
Source: AP, "SA Rugby acts to prevent match-fixing", 23 March 2016, Enca, https://www.enca.com/sport/rugby/sa-rugby-takes-initiative-over-fixing-concerns
Trinidad & Tobago
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is expected to approve the inclusion of a good governance commitment in its constitution later this month. Seen as a major step forward in the organisation’s continued push to improve sports governance, the commitment is set to be confirmed during the TTOC's Annual General Meeting at Olympic House in Port of Spain on April 30. It will require all affiliated member sport organisations to adhere to basic governance principles. Professor Leigh Robinson, who facilitated the TTOC’s "Good Sport Governance" week in November of last year, will return to conduct a workshop on April 28. Additionally, the TTOC is in discussions with the Sport Integrity Global Alliance in its effort to improve sport integrity and governance. "The TTOC believes that success achieved by individual athletes and national or regional teams must not distract from the reality that sport governance in the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, must be modernised, significantly improved and made fit for purpose," read a statement on the TTOC’s website. "Regional and national sport leaders and administrators must not hide behind on-the-field success to imply, suggest, validate or excuse current sport governance behaviour and practice that does not adhere to basic good governance principles."
Source: Daniel Etchells, "Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee set to approve addition of good governance commitment in constitution ", 3 April 2016, Inside the games, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1036021/trinidad-and-tobago-olympic-committee-set-to-approve-addition-of-good-governance-commitment-in-constitution
INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS
20-21 April 2016: the 8th INTERPOL Match Fixing Task Force Meeting will take place in Brussels. In this occasion investigators of all member countries have been invited to meet and discuss about match fixing and illegal betting.
22 April 2016: a Partnership Development Meeting (PDM) will take place in Brussels. It is organized by INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Key Belgian stakeholders have been invited to
discuss about future strategies in combatting Competition Manipulation.
- AFC Disciplinary Committee African Football Confederation (CAF) Anti-Corruption Anti-Doping Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Australian Open Council of Europe Europe FIFA Football General Medical Council (GMC) Hungary India Indian Premier League Interpol Keep Crime Out Of Sport (KCOOS) Keep Rugby Onside Malta Malta FA Match-Fixing Netherlands Olympic Paralympic Rugby Russia SA Rugby South Africa Sportradar Tennis Thaliand The FA The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) Trinidad & Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) UEFA UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) United Kingdom (UK) Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA)