Match fix call from Gatto's mate cost soccer coach his job, court told
A tapped phone call between Mick Gatto’s son-in-law and an associate led police to investigate a Melbourne soccer game in a match-fixing probe that ended up costing the team's coach his job.
Danny Awad was under investigation for attempting to possess 22 kilograms of cocaine imported from Mexico when on August 19, 2017 police overheard a call he took from property developer John Khoury, a business partner of Mr Gatto's.
Khoury asked Awad, who is married to Mr Gatto’s daughter Sarah, to place a multi-bet on his behalf, having learnt from a source that soccer club Dandenong Thunder was to field a weaker side in its game that day.
Khoury bet $4000 and stood to win $43,300 if Thunder lost its game and his pick for a Queensland horse race came in first.
Thunder had already won the 2017 National Premier League Eastern division – in the third tier of Australian soccer – and fielded a team of younger and less experienced players against Melbourne City’s youth team to give the lesser lights some game time.
When Khoury, who was on the Gold Coast, learnt Thunder were beating City 2-1 at half-time, he made four calls and sent three text messages to Dandenong’s then coach Gianfranco Impellizzeri.
The pair were friends and Khoury was best man at Impellizzeri's wedding, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.
The calls went unanswered, according to documents released by Melbourne Magistrates Court, until Khoury had a friend at the game make contact with the coach.
Eventually Khoury and Impellizzeri spoke on the phone for two minutes and the coach told his friend he would make some tactical moves after half-time to increase the likelihood of Thunder losing.
Police now accept that despite the agreement, Impellizzeri didn’t implement any moves that aided Khoury’s cause, although City scored in the second half and drew 2-2. Khoury’s horse won but his multi-bet was unsuccessful and he lost the $4000 stake.
According to court documents, Impellizzeri was frustrated and angry after the phone call and told an assistant coach: ‘‘Why do they want to do this shit to me?’’
Based on information including Khoury’s phone call to Awad, police investigated the soccer game and later charged Khoury and Impellizzeri with offences under Victoria’s sporting integrity legislation.
Khoury was last year convicted and fined $750 by a Queensland magistrate after pleading guilty to using inside knowledge for betting.
Impellizzeri was on Wednesday spared a criminal conviction and put on the court’s diversion program, which spares first-time offenders a criminal record if they admit responsibility, on one charge of entering an agreement that would corrupt a betting outcome.
Two other charges were struck out.
Defence counsel Martin Amad stressed his client did nothing to throw the game.
‘‘He said 'yeah, yeah, yeah' to these punters and he didn’t follow through with it,’’ Mr Amad said.
Magistrate Timothy Bourke labelled the verbal agreement ‘‘deeply concerning’’ as it harmed the sport’s integrity, but accepted the bet was laid without Impellizzeri’s knowledge, that he reneged on what he told Khoury, and he paid a heavy price.
During the police investigation Impellizzeri, 55, was sacked by Thunder and has been unable to extend his 20-year coaching career. His coaching licence has expired and he now works for a cleaning company.
‘‘This has weighed heavily on him, it’s cost him his job,’’ Mr Amad said.
‘‘He is going to be unemployable. Football Federation Australia are going to be all over this.’’
The magistrate put Impellizzeri on the diversion program on conditions of good behaviour, that he donate $2000 to charity, settle unpaid fines for driving offences and write an apology letter to FFA
An FFA spokesman said it would consider any further action under the national code of conduct.
‘‘The FFA takes very seriously any matter which has the potential to impact the integrity of football,’’ he said.
Awad was last year jailed for 15 years, to serve at least 10 years, for attempting to possess the cocaine, which was hidden in Xerox printers and had a street value of $12 million.
There is no suggestion Mr Gatto was involved in any wrongdoing over Khoury’s bet
Source: 13 February 2020
The Age - Football
Cyprus court detains club president, referee in fixing probe
A Cypriot court on Wednesday ordered the detention of a soccer club president and a referee for eight days as police investigate allegations that the two men were involved in fixing the outcome of a second-division match.
A police investigator told the court during a custody hearing that authorities are looking into the result of a Feb. 8 match between Ayia Napa and Othellos Athienou.
According to the state-run Cyprus News Agency, police obtained an affidavit from an individual who claimed that the 39 year-old club president offered him 10,000 euros ($10,911) to help Ayia Napa win the match.
The club president, who is also a player agent, is further accused of trying to persuade an Othellos player he manages to help Ayia Napa win.
The investigator also said the 33 year-old referee who officiated the match is accused of “provocatively” calling fouls against Othellos.
After the match, Othellos players used a whistle-blowers' telephone hotline that the Cyprus Soccer Players' Association recently set up to complain.
Both men face possible charges of criminal conspiracy, bribery and match fixing.
The lawyer representing the referee said police have no real evidence to justify her client's detention and that investigators are trying to make him a scapegoat.
The detention of the two men comes amid a resurgence of match fixing allegations that have roiled the sport and triggered a Cypriot government pledge to crack down on the illicit practice.
Police initially started an investigation last month after receiving information from UEFA about suspicious betting activity around second division matches and cup games.
Cypriot Justice Minister George Savvides said Wednesday that “there's no way” the government would allow any wrongdoing to be swept under the carpet. He said the fight against match fixing can be won either through the tapping of telephone lines or for the “code of silence” that has prevented whistle-blowers from stepping up to break.
Former Ayia Napa President Costas Elia claimed on local sports radio Sports1 that underfunded second-division teams are “obliged" to throw a game for money that'll help them stay afloat. Although he said he'd never thrown a game, he claimed the practice “is common knowledge."
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades last week announced a raft of additional measures to fight match fixing including setting up of an independent judicial authority to adjudicate sport-related criminal cases.
Source: 12 February 2020
Miami Herald - Football
Central Crime Branch File Charge Sheet in KPL Match-Fixing Case
The Central Crime Branch investigating into the Karnataka Premier League match-fixing scandal has filed charge sheet in three cases, Additional Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil said on Friday, 7 February.
The additional commissioner of police said the charge sheet in the case at Cubbon Park police station was filed against six accused-team owners of Belagavi Panthers, Ali Asfaq Thara and Ballari Tuskers, Arvind Reddy-, KCSA management committee member Sudhindra Shinde, two cricketers C M Gautham and Abrar Kazi and a bookie Amit Mavi.
In the second case registered at the JP Nagar station based on a complaint by Ballari Tuskers player Bhavesh Gulecha, charge sheets were filed against four accused, drummer Bhavesh Bafna, bookie Sayyam, Jatin Sethi and Harish.
"In all the above cases, only preliminary charge sheet is filed and further investigation will continue," said Patil.
The case came to fore after Gulecha lodged a complaint.
Just around the time the police too had got a whiff about the matter, said police sources.
The KPL spot-fixing scandal came to light when Gulecha lodged a complaint with the police against an international bookie Sayyam and Bhavesh Bafna.
Source: 7 February 2020
The Quint - Cricket
Match-fixing: HC sends Sanjeev Chawla to Tihar jail till further orders
Sanjeev Chawla, alleged bookie and key accused in one of cricket’s biggest match-fixing scandals that involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje, got an interim relief from custodial interrogation with the Delhi High Court on Friday sending him to Tihar jail till further orders.
A trial court had on Thursday sent Chawla to 12-day custodial interrogation by Delhi Police, noting that the matter was to be probed further for which he has to be taken to various cities across the nation.
Chawla, extradited from the UK, has challenged in the high court the trial court’s order sending him to police custody saying that during the extradition proceedings, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had given assurance to the UK government that he will be kept in Tihar jail only to face trial.
Justice Anu Malhotra asked the Crime Branch of Delhi Police to file a status report in the matter and directed that Chawla be lodged in Tihar jail here in terms of the letters of MHA till further directions of the court.
The court further said it is essential to hear the Centre in the matter as the letters of assurances were issued by the MHA.
It issued notice to the MHA in the matter and listed it for hearing on February 19.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Chawla, said the accused will now be kept in Tihar jail under judicial custody till further orders of the court.
Public Prosecutor Kewal Singh Ahuja sought time to file the status report on behalf of the state as the investigating officer was not present.
Initially, the plea was mentioned before a Division Bench which agreed to list it for hearing during the day. The plea was listed before Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri who recused from hearing the matter and it was then marked to Justice Anu Malhotra.
During the hearing, Pahwa said Chawla was a British national and while seeking his extradition, the Indian government had given diplomatic assurances to the government of UK that he will be kept at Tihar jail during his detention in pre-trial and post conviction.
He argued that the investigation qua Chawla, also represented through advocate Hemant Shah, was already complete and extradition process starts only when the probe is concluded and further probe was not permissible here.
“He is called to Indian only to face trial. The authorities have violated their undertaking given to the UK government. The charge sheet says the investigation is complete. There is no scope of probe against him,” he said.
Chawla, in his plea, claimed that the additional chief metropolitan magistrate has “wrongly and erroneously, without appreciating the facts and/or law, directed detention of the petitioner in police custody” and that he was kept in illegal custody.
The petition referred to the MHA’s letters dated February 28, 2017, September 22, 2017 and June 11, 2018 giving assurances to the UK government.
“The said assurances are the sovereign assurances given by the Government of India and are binding upon the Government of India’s courts and state enforcing agencies inasmuch as the guarantees and assurances are the basis of extradition,” it said.
In unambiguous terms they stated that the petitioner during his detention in pre-trial and post conviction will be kept at Tihar jail, it said, adding that it was categorically stated that Chawla’s extradition was sought only to face trial and not for investigation.
“The Government of India had given assurances which are solemn and sovereign assurances that at all times, during pre-trial custody, the petitioner would be lodged in Tihar jail and therefore, no police remand can be granted and the custody of the petitioner can be granted to the police officers and the petitioner has to be lodged in Tihar jail,” the plea said.
The trial court was earlier informed that Chawla, who was extradited from London on Thursday, was involved in fixing of five matches and has to be taken to various places and confronted with certain people in order to unearth the larger conspiracy.
Cronje, who died in a plane crash in 2002, was also involved, police had told the court.
Chawla is alleged to have played a central role in conspiring with Cronje to fix a South African tour to India in February-March 2000.
The British court documents say Chawla is a Delhi-born businessman who moved to the United Kingdom on a business visa in 1996, but continued to make trips to India. — PTI
Source: 15 February 2020
The Tribune - Cricket
Heavyweight Boxing Fight Under UKGC Probe for Match-Fixing
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is officially investigating the professional heavyweight boxing match that took place between Dave Allen and Dorian Darch for potential match-fixing.
Sportsbooks sent alerts to the relevant authorities after receiving suspicious betting activity.
The probe relates to British boxer Allen’s third-round knockout win over Darch. A number of significant sportsbooks sent alerts to the relevant authorities after receiving suspicious betting activity for the fight.
The British Boxing Board of Control will be working alongside the UKGC on the case.
Operators report spikes in bets
The boxing match took place Sunday in Sheffield as part of the Kell Brook undercard. Allen had matters all his way in the opening two rounds before dropping Darch two times at the beginning of round three as the fight was ended. Many likened the opening six minutes of the fight as being akin to a sparring session.
According to one of the major sports betting operators, the odds on an Allen victory in the third round quickly dropped following a flurry of significant bets, with the price dropping down to Evens from 5/2.
Other sportsbooks also saw a similar spike in bets on this market for the fight, which was set to have a total of six rounds on Sky Sports.
Response from the authorities
Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, spoke to Sportsmail about the investigation being carried. He touched on the conversations it has had with the UKGC in relation to the fight.
Smith said the boxing organization has a good relationship with the UKGC. The board will be waiting to see what findings the commission’s investigation will lead to.
He added, “We do not want to speculate. We will wait to hear back from them. They are looking into the matter.”
Outcry on social media
Followers of the match and its aftermath took to social media channels to post their reactions.
One of the commentators for the fight, Adam Smith, said he had seen both Darch and Allen having a coffee together on the morning of the fight in a hotel. A number of spectators commented online following the stoppage of the fight, with one maintaining the fix was “clear as day.”
Two fighters rebuke allegations
Both fighters addressed rumors via social media. Darch joked about the match-fixing claims on his Twitter account, saying: “Should have chucked a couple of quid on myself if I knew lol.”
Source: 11 February 2020
Vegas Slots Online - Boxing
French player convicted of match fixing
Cannes (France) (AFP) - A former player in the French lower divisions was found guilty on Wednesday of match-fixing while the case of team-mate, who has moved to Hollywood, was adjourned.
Matar Fall, a defender, was fined 10,000 euros and banned for contributing to a loss by his team, Frejus-Saint-Raphael, in a French third-division match to gamblers who have still not been identified.
A Paris court also gave Fall, 37, a one-year suspended prison sentence, and a five-year ban from sport for "passive corruption with a view to altering the outcome of sports betting" and "criminal association".
On May 9, 2014, Frejus lost 4-1 to already-relegated Colomiers in the National division.
The second accused player, goalkeeper Dominique Jean-Zephirin, conceded four goals in the first 21 minutes, one an own goal by Fall, the captain.
Sportradar, a technology company that tracks on-line betting, noted both abnormal odds and a volume of bets from Asia, 20 times higher than the average
The club fired both players.
Fall was also suspended by the French Football Federation while his lawyer has called Jean-Zephirin "the instigator."
Former Haiti international goalkeeper Jean-Zephirin has relocated to Los Angeles and appeared as a fringe character in US reality shows and dated, or been romantically linked with, reality show stars.
A week before the Colomiers game, Sportradar also detected abnormal betting from Asia before Frejus met Dunkirk. The game ended 0-0.
A police investigation established that the two had approached team-mates "in concert" to ask them to lose against Dunkirk in return for money.
After that match ended in a draw they tried again for the next game and were prosecuted for "fixing the match" against Colomiers.
Both men have denied deliberately playing badly against Colomiers
During the investigation, each accused the other of being the contact with the bettors and of deciding to talk to the other players.
According to Sportradar, Jean-Zephirin is known to have been in contact with two known Singaporean match riggers
The court accepted a request for delay by his new lawyer. He will be tried on April 29.
Source: 12 February 2020
Yahoo Sports - Football
FIFA Disciplinary Committee sanctions four players for involvement in match manipulation
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has found several players guilty of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of art. 69 par. 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (2017 ed.) (unlawfully influencing match results).
In particular, given his central role in the conspiracy, the player George Mandela, Uganda, has been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for life.
Moreover, the following individuals have been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) years.
Mr Moses Chikati, Kenya; Mr Festus Okiring, Kenya; Mr Festo Omukoto, Kenya.
The formal disciplinary proceedings against the aforementioned individuals stemmed from an investigation into various matches from the Kenyan Premier League in 2019. This investigation was conducted by FIFA through its Integrity Department with the consent of and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.
The findings of the relevant decisions were notified to the concerned individuals today, the date on which the relevant bans come into force. The grounds of the decisions, if requested, will be published on legal.fifa.com in accordance with art. 51 par. 7 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
Source: 4 February 2020,
International cricket match fixers and ex-player jailed
An ex-professional Pakistani cricketer and two others have today been jailed for bribing cricketers to fix elements of international matches.
Nasir Jamshaid custody shotEx-player Nasir Jamshaid, aged 33, from Oldbury, and British nationals Yousaf Anwar, aged 36, from Hayes, and Mohammad Ijaz, aged 34, from Sheffield, all admitted their roles in the conspiracy following a covert investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Today at Manchester Crown Court, Jamshaid, Anwar and Ijaz were sentenced to 17 months, 3 years and 4 months, and 2 years and 6 months respectively.
Using an undercover officer, NCA investigators identified that the group were plotting to fix elements of the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament which Jamshaid was due to play in.
Anwar and Ijaz developed a system by which they would identify a professional player willing to partake in an agreed fix, and the player would signal at the start of the match to confirm the fix was on.
Typically, they would charge £30,000 per fix with half of that going to the player.
Yousaf Anwar custody shotThe following year, the three men made further plans to fix Pakistan Super League matches being played in Dubai. In February 2017 Anwar flew out to Dubai to meet with other professional players, including Islamabad United teammates Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, who agreed to play their part in corrupting elements of a game.
Before flying out to join them Anwar was captured on CCTV purchasing 28 different coloured cricket bat handle grips from a wholesalers in St Albans where he gave Ijaz’s name and address for the receipt. These would subsequently be used by the players as the signal to show the fix was going ahead.
The PSL fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi was played in Dubai on 9 February 2017. Despite Latif originally
agreeing to the fix, it was Khan who entered the crease almost five hours into the game displaying the pre-agreed signal.
Khan then carried out the fix, playing two dot balls in the first two balls of the second over, before getting out leg before wicket (LBW) for 0 in the third ball of the over.
On 13 February Jamshed was arrested by NCA officers at his home in Birmingham, and Anwar was arrested at Heathrow Airport after flying back from Dubai. Ijaz was detained at his home in Sheffield ten days later.
Jamshaid, Latif, Khan, and a fourth player, Mohammed Irfan, were all suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board following subsequent tribunal hearings.
Ian McConnell, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said:
“These men abused their privileged access to professional, international cricket to corrupt games, eroding public confidence for their own financial gain.
“I would like the thank the England and Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council, Gambling Commission and Pakistan Cricket Board for their ongoing support throughout this investigation.
“Tackling corruption and bribery in its various forms is a priority for the National Crime Agency. We will vigorously pursue those involved, and target their illicit profits which are so often used to fund further criminality.”
Source: 7 February 2020
National Crime Agency - Cricket
Herentals match-fixing details emerge
FINER details of how Herentals fixed a league game against army side Black Rhinos last October have emerged after the Premier Soccer League (PSL) released the full judgment
Herentals, who were fined ZWL$300 000 and relegated from the topflight league, are contesting the verdict.
The club, which has since been ordered to pay the costs of the hearing, would also be banned from any football-related activities for the next 10 years if the fine remained unpaid by January 31, twelve days ago.
Manager Oliver Chirenga, who the club denies is a club official, was fined ZWL$20 000 and banned for 10 years from all footballrelated activities while the US$300 exhibit produced during the hearing was forfeited to the PSL.
The case is premised on an affidavit deposited by Black Rhinos player Kudzanai Gift Saunyama, who claimed that Chirenga had approached him to fix the match between the two sides, which he communicated to his coach Hebert Maruwa.
Maruwa is said to have asked Saunyama, who is a former Herentals player, to accept the money which would be used as an
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“On the same day and at the appointed time, Chirenga approached Saunyama at his home and true to Saunyama’s suspicion he requested him to organise the fixing of the Black Rhinos vs Herentals match which was set to be played on October 19, 2019 at the National Sports Stadium,” part of the judgment read. “The affidavit states that Chirenga stated that he was looking for three or five players from Black Rhinos whom he would pay US$200 each or more if they successfully fix the match. He says he falsely agreed to assist him and promised to give him feedback the following day. On the following day, the 16th of October 2019, Saunyama reported what had happened to his head coach and told him that Chirenga had proposed to meet him again at his home for purposes of making a down payment of the money that was to be used to pay the players. The balance of the figure, which was yet to be agreed upon, was to be paid after the match. The coach advised Saunyama to accept the money and bring it to the club so that it can be used as an exhibit. Chirenga did not turn up with the money as had been agreed. He did not call and there was no further communication from him.”
According to the judgment, the match was played and Black Rhinos lost 3-0 and the army side made its own investigations where players and officials were interviewed.
Black Rhinos manager Gift Kamuriwo is said to have confessed receiving US$300 from Chirenga at the intersection of Samora Machel and Chinhoyi Street on October 18 to be shared equally among three players for them to influence the results of the match with a balance of US$300 to be paid after the game.
“This (defeat) prompted an investigation into the match-fixing allegations at Black Rhinos Football Club. According to Kamuriwo, players and officials were subjected to questioning by the Zimbabwe National Army’s unit known as SIB. The questioning took place over a few days at One Commando Barracks. As the investigations continued, Kamuriwo decided to own up and confessed that he had been approached and had indeed received money to fix the match. He says what motivated him to confess was that he could not bear the sight of players being wrongly accused of having been paid to fix the match when it was him who had received the money. He handed over to the investigators the US$300 which had been paid to him. He decided to confess on his own before being interviewed. His narration of events is contained in an affidavit dated November 15, 2019,” the verdict says.
Kamuriwo, however, said he did not influence the outcome of the game, but converted the US$300 balance to his own use.
Black Rhinos wrote a letter of complaint to the PSL and on November 25, Herentals were summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee.
Herentals had denied the charges, arguing that Chirenga was only a supporter and did not hold any other position within the club structures
Source: 12 February 2020
News Day Zimbabwe
Platform launched for footballers to report match fixing incidents anonymously
The Pancyprian Footballers’ Association (Pasp) announced on Monday that starting from February 4, football players will be able to report match fixing incidents through an app that will be made available to them called ‘Red Button’.
During a press conference held the association’s headquarters, Pasp president Spyros Neofitides said that launching the app “sends a clear message to the public and to the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) that Pasp can no longer be excluded from important decisions regarding the state of football in Cyprus.”
Neofitides said the reports that the footballers will be able to make “will be completely anonymous”.
“We want to safeguard our footballers’ safety, it’s our main priority. We can assure them that no one will retaliate against them should they submit a complaint through the Red Button application.”
He said that the initiative proved footballers were actively doing their part in the fight against match fixing, illegal betting and corruption that “have stained our sport for a long time”.
“An internal poll we conducted showed that 82 per cent of the members of our association would file a complaint only provided there is a way to safeguard their anonymity. We are giving them that tool and we hope to bring tangible change,” said Neofitides.
All the reports submitted through the app will be submitted and evaluated by FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers, that will cooperate directly with Pasp lawyers.
“This application was created at our own expense,” said Neofitides. “For the time being we are not cooperating with the justice ministry, a decision based on the inadequacy they have shown in recent years when it comes to take a stand, as well as measures, against match fixing.
“Unfortunately, neither Pasp nor FIFPro have enough confidence in the authorities to share our reports with them,” said Neofitides, who mentioned the case of the wrongful arrest of a 30-year-old second division footballer, who was subsequently cleared of all charges in connection with investigations into two matches that saw unusual betting activity.
He also urged the CFA to make changes that will help tackle the issues in Cypriot football, namely a call on the clubs to increase the salaries of footballers and to make sure they are paid on time.
“Low wages and late pay are among the most common causes that push footballers to turn to match fixing,” said Neofitides.
Secondly, he urged to prevent the presence of “outsiders” in locker rooms and on the pitch, as “only people with the relevant credentials should be allowed there”.
Neofitides urged the passing of the law to allow the monitoring of telecommunications data of individuals believed to be involved in corruption and demanded that lower league games be consistently filmed, both as a deterrent and a control measure for the authorities.
“The adoption of these measure would make for a good start in the fight against match fixing,” he said
“Of course, there is much more to be done, especially by the authorities who have done absolutely nothing in recent years apart from sweeping the problems under the rug.”
He said that footballers had some responsibility too as some of them are involved in illegal activities.
“But let’s not forget that footballers are not the ones who benefit the most from the whole situation. Agents, illegal betting agencies and the criminal take the lion’s share of the profits.”
Source: 4 February 2020
Cyprus Mail - Football
ODDS AND ENDS
Those who counter match-fixing fraudsters: voices from a multistakeholder ecosystem
This study sheds light on the match-fixing ecosystem, with particular focus on those entities engaged in protecting the integrity of competitions. It analyzes the characteristics of match-fixers, as perceived by some anti-match-fixing stakeholders; the known processes of match-fixing and their evolution; and the interactions among stakeholders in the match-fixing ecosystem. Results show that while anti-match-fixing actors seem to have only a fuzzy idea of match-fixers’ characteristics, they appear to know quite well how fraudsters manipulate games. Meanwhile, fixers seem to have adapted their processes across time in response to harsher countermeasures according to two main strategies: layering, in which mules are used to place bets on multiple operators to conceal suspicious betting pattern algorithms, and diversification/displacement, in which fixers decide to pursue new betting options or to target minor leagues or other, less monitored sports. Some fixers did not have to adapt since in many countries police investigations remain rare and criminal sanction mild. Further research should encourage comparative perspectives beyond the European dimension, develop a more systematic effort to establish a sport fraudsters typology, and focus on non-betting-related sports manipulations.
Source: 5 February 2020
Crime, Law and Social Change
ASADA set to be granted new powers in move feared to threaten athletes' rights
Australia's anti-doping body ASADA is to be redefined as an "enforcement body", with athletes stripped of their common law right to silence.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019 would combine all nationally focused sport integrity functions into a single entity, wresting control from individual sporting codes which have developed their own sophisticated — and costly — integrity units.
The legislation is currently making its way through the Senate, with the Joint Committee on Human Rights raising a number of issues.
Speaking to The Ticket, committee member Greens senator Nick McKim said, based on the legislation, the new body would have "significant powers" ASADA did not currently have.
Those powers include a lowering of the threshold required to issue a "show cause" notice requiring a person to attend an interview
Currently, the threshold requires ASADA's CEO to "reasonably believe" a person of interest has questions to answer. That threshold would be reduced to "reasonably suspect".
A three-person panel that approves all show-cause notices would be abolished, leaving the CEO with sole discretionary powers.
Athletes would also have their right not to self-incriminate eroded under the legislation.
"Those are very important human rights," Senator McKim said.
"In fact, the High Court has found that the right not to self-incriminate is a human right which protects personal freedom, privacy and dignity — and those are really important rights in our country."
"We need to be very careful when we move to erode those rights just for a particular group of people — in this case athletes including footy players, cricket players and a wide range of professional sports people."
The proposed legislation is in response to a review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements — the Wood Review — with reforms recommended to enhance the nation's ability to address integrity threats such as doping, match fixing, corruption, organised crime and bullying and abuse.
The focus of the bill is heavily skewed towards those who play sport, rather than those who govern it.
"This is biased strongly against athletes and towards eroding the rights of athletes," Senator McKim said.
"It is not focused anywhere near strongly enough on ensuring that we have integrity at the higher levels of sport management."
"And that's of course leaving aside the obvious irony of a Government that is caught up in a massive corruption scandal around sports grants trying to pass a piece of legislation that it claims will improve integrity in sport."
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He also said the Government needed to "come clean" on what the term "enforcement body" actually meant when referring to the SIA.
"The material that they've published in association with this legislation does not clearly define what they mean by that term," he said.
Questions remain over the nature of the enforcement powers, how enforcement related activities will be undertaken, and by whom.
The Federal Sports Minister senator Richard Colbeck was unavailable for an interview when approached by The Ticket.
The Australian Athletes Alliance (AAA) is an umbrella organisation representing the player associations of most of the country's professional sports.
Its general secretary Jacob Holmes said the alliance was concerned the burden on athletes continued to grow while at the same time their rights were diminished.
"It's a significant issue really that we're increasing the burdens, we're removing athletes' human rights and legal rights, and also removing our ability to address — if there is a breach — to ensure there is accountability."
The legislation would remove athletes' rights to appeal sanctions through legal avenues such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, limiting all sports cases to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"We are denying the right of an athlete to actually hold the national sports organisations to account … and that's where we see that this proposed legislation goes too far," he said.
"As a representative body of over 4,000 athletes, we want the athletes as part of the solution because they have the most to lose."
Athletes have already given up many of their rights in pursuit of sports integrity — particularly in the fight against doping — submitting themselves to invasive protocols on a daily basis
Australian swimmers have been cheered on for pointing the finger at drug cheats this week. Now with Shayna Jack testing positive, the finger is being pointed back.
Mr Holmes said the athletes were not being met halfway. "They really want to protect the integrity of sport," he said. "They've gone a long way to doing that by giving up a lot."
"But at the same time we're not saying 'well, here's some support for you, here are some protections for you, here's a way you can hold us to account to make sure we're doing the right thing', and that's where we see this is actually out of step."
The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia will also require changes to the Australian Sports Commission Act to guard against any overlap of functions and responsibilities.
Internationally there is a move towards sports policies that specifically recognise human rights
As the bill currently stands, this would put Australia at odds with that trend.
Source: 9 February 2020
President announces measures to counter match fixing
The president announced on Friday he wanted to create a new deputy sports ministry, as part of a wider effort to tackle corruption in Cypriot football.
President Nicos Anastasiades chaired a meeting on Friday morning to address the ongoing match fixing scandal.
His proposal to create the new institution – deputy ministry of sports, youth and culture – is a sign of the severity of the allegations facing the island’s sporting integrity.
In addition to the creation of the new deputy ministry, the president also announced an independent sports authority. This new institution will try cases of corruption and match fixing, while enforcing the code of ethics.
Other measures include the recording and archiving of all second league games, as well as stricter enforcement of the 2017
match fixing law.
“As for match fixing, the president has expressed satisfaction and agreed to the proposals put forward,” said government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios.
Match fixing in Cypriot football has been persistent problem that authorities have repeatedly failed to address over the years
The matter resurfaced recently following the arrival of several notices from European football governing body Uefa suggesting match fixing.
Some 80 such notices have been received over the past years but authorities have failed to resolve any of the cases.
“The recommendations were recorded, as well as the willingness of key organisations to cooperate and work together to tackle corruption in football,” Kousios said.
While the recent match fixing scandal has put the focus on corruption in football, wider issues remain such as hooliganism and fan violence.
One of the island’s biggest clubs, Omonia, has also come out in public claiming corruption in Cypriot football was rampant and championships could be bought. The club has so far failed to disclose any evidence it may have, despite being asked by the police.
All the Uefa notices show suspicious betting activity, usually in Asian markets where the identities of the punters cannot be determined
The performance of certain referees over the years has also raised suspicions among clubs and fans.
The Cyprus Football Association has recently decided to use foreign officials in certain games, something it previously did in the 2009-2010 playoffs and some cup finals.
The government on Friday also met with officials in charge of football stadiums to discuss measures which will bring them in line with legislation to tackle fan violence.
So far however enforcement has been patchy. As it stands, authorities are able to discern who attended a match – but not exactly where they were supposed to be in the stadium.
Football in Cyprus has been marred by violence and hooliganism, which led to the introduction of fan cards. The aim was to deter such behaviour but also to be able to identify people involved.
If trouble breaks out in one part of the stadium, it is difficult for police to identify who may have been present at the scene of disturbance.
The aim is to upgrade stadiums and ticketing so that authorities are better able to tell where a fan is supposed to be sitting, in order to cross reference that person to a place where an incident occurred.
Source: 7 February 2020
Cyprus Mail - Football
Soccer-Greek PM to meet UEFA, FIFA officials in bid to end turmoil
Source: 5 February 2020
Nasdaq - Football
Malaysia to reform NSAs to deal with governance and corruption issues
Malaysia’s Sports Commissioner is to produce a plan for reform of the country’s national sports associations to deal with corruption and misconduct problems.
Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said yesterday that the plan would be produced in the first quarter of this year.
The announcement follows the arrest of Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Datuk Abu Samah Abdul Wahab, who was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last Thursday for alleged “abuse of power”, according to the New Straits Times.
Syed Saddiq said: “In this (the arrest of Abu Samah) particular case, we have given our full support to MACC to have the investigation carried out fairly.”
He added: “We want to clean up all sports associations, in terms of misconduct and corruption. Not only the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) but all associations.
“Some associations escape the scrutiny of the ministry. As such the Sports Commissioner must actively look into the governance system of these associations.”
Abu Samah has been released, according to MNCF vice-president Datuk Amarjit Singh, who said: “Yes, he has (been released). I have just spoken to him. He is doing fine and is in good spirits. I am sure it will be okay.”
Abu Samah has been defended by MNCF’s deputy president Yunus Ibrahim, who said: “We can confirm that our president has been picked up by the MACC, and we are awaiting for more details. I can’t elaborate on why or for what reason Abu Samah has been detained.
“We, the office bearers of MNCF, will assist MACC. We stand behind Abu Samah.
“This issue has painted a negative picture of MNCF. I hope people will not make accusations as it is still under investigation.”
Singh added: “Abu Samah has been asked to assist in the investigation and has been cooperating fully with the authorities.
“He has always given his full cooperation to MACC whenever he was called to do so or whenever they visited the MNCF office.
“It’s important to note that he is only assisting in the investigation and has not been charged or even convicted for any charges whatsoever in any court of law.
“With that, the MNCF will run normally. Abu Samah is still the president of MNCF and there is no reason to see anything different just because he is assisting in an investigation.
“Therefore, he will continue to run the organisation. As a matter of fact, we have our hands full as we will be organising the Asian Road Championships in March.
“As far as MNCF are concerned, everything that was done has always been with the full support and endorsement of the MNCF exco.
“The MNCF have always welcome any investigation, which has also taken place several times before, and were eventually cleared by MACC.”
Source: 4 February 2020
Fifa keen to investigate financial transactions carried out by Caf
Football's world governing body Fifa is keen to investigate a host of financial transactions carried out by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) following an audit into the continent's ruling body.
A joint Caf-Fifa task force 'believes more information is necessary and recommends further investigations' into several areas, including Caf's dealings with French company Tactical Steel.
The 2017 deal with Tactical Steel was notable as Caf cancelled an order worth just under $250,000 with sportswear company Puma to take up an alternative order costing four times as much with Tactical Steel, a company with links to a close associate of Caf President Ahmad.
The Task Force's recommendations come after Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura's six-month tenure as General Delegate for Africa ended earlier this month.
Samoura was appointed to the role last August in a bid to help improve the governance of African football.
When her role ended, the joint task force delivered a series of findings, recommendations and proposals to Caf's top executives at a meeting in Morocco on 2 February.
While some of these findings focussed on improving infrastructure, refereeing and competitions on the continent, there was also a '100-point action plan' drawn up with regard to good governance.
Among these recommendations were a desire for the following
Reviewing financial payments made between Caf and Lagardere, the French media company that used to operate a billiondollar television and marketing deal relating to Caf's leading football competitions Carrying out due diligence on payment from Fifa development fund - Fifa Forward - and Caf itself to all of Africa's 54 member associations as well as the six zonal unions Investigating allegations of possible mismanagement and misappropriation of funds linked to the Caf Centre of Excellence in Mbankomo, Cameroon Investigating potential fraudulent bank transfers and clarifying 'the circumstances around (various) incidents to rule out insider involvement' - and 'if necessary, file a criminal complaint and take legal action to ensure the recovery of the stolen amounts' Extending the scope of the audit to include the years 2013-14 - and explore 'the lack of documentation related to financial transactions' prior to 2015.
The audit of Caf was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers and has yet to be made public, but the clamour for this is likely to grow in the coming days.
Other reforms being pushed by the Task Force include fundamental changes to the way in which Caf is structured, the imposition of term limits for both the Caf President and Executive committee members and the introduction of an independent investigatory unit.
Among a long list of ideas are a desire to install 'robust compliance procedures', 'internal auditing' and the implementation of a whistle-blowing hotline and policy against retaliation of whistle-blowers.
The deal involving French company Tactical Steel - which has prompted an investigation by anti-corruption authorities, who questioned Ahmad last June, in France - is also on the list, with a recommendation to check 'value of equipment purchased, check quantities and quality of balls delivered to Member Association, due diligence of bank account holders'.
When the BBC asked Caf why it chose to use the little-known French company, the African body said it turned to them after the desired equipment - football and kits - from Puma could not apparently be obtained in time from a local manufacturer.
Tactical Steel's website highlights its role in both making and supplying gym equipment but shortly after Ahmad became Caf President in 2017, the company became a key supplier for Fifa's second-largest confederation.
Ahmad's then attaché Loic Gerand is an old friend of Romuald Seiller, the Frenchman who owns Tactical Steel.
Despite Gerand's and Seillier's long-standing relationship, Ahmad was unequivocal when telling the BBC last year that there was "quite clearly no conflict of interest" for his organisation
Ahmad has previously denied any wrongdoing in regard to the awarding of the contract. There is no suggestion that Ahmad has personally profited from the arrangement, nor Tactical Steel owner Seillier nor Ahmad attaché Gerand.
Source: 8 February 2020
BBC Sport Football
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