New match-fixing investigations in cricket, badminton and football

Shuttlecock In Flight
Published: Tuesday, 21 October 2014. No Comments

This week’s recap sees advances in the fight against match-fixing with the signing of a cooperation agreement between UEFA and the European Commission to safeguard football from discrimination, match-fixing and violence, as well meetings in El Salvador to discuss a roadmap to make match-fixing a crime under the country’s law.

In another development an inquiry into match-fixing in soccer conducted by judicial investigators in Cremona, Italy, branched out to other sports with the discovery of internet conversations of tennis players claiming they sold matches.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Badminton World Federation

Badminton officials have asked the Malaysian police to investigate what the Badminton World Federation president called one of the most serious cases of match fixing in recent history. Singles player Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who ranks ninth, and doubles player Kim Astrup told the broadcaster that they received offers to their Facebook accounts by a Malaysian man who said he had previously fixed matches in the Singapore Open and the Thomas Cup. Astrup said he was offered between 2,500 and 3,000 euros in addition to being able to bet on his own game. The Malaysia-based BWF has given no details on the match-fixing offer, but it said in a statement on Monday that it had reported the alleged offer to the police and "has been cooperating fully in an ongoing investigation into these matters".

Source: "Danes allege badminton match-fixing offer", 15 October 2014, AFP, https://www.thelocal.dk/20141015/danish-badminton-players-allege-match-fixing-offer

Italy

Italian tennis players Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace are facing corruption accusations after intercepted Internet conversations claiming they sold matches were published in Italian media. The conversations are part of the extensive data that judicial investigators in Cremona have been sorting through in a match-fixing inquiry into soccer. In a July 2007 conversation on Skype between Bracciali and an accountant who was arrested in 2011, Bracciali discussed arranging a match in Newport, Rhode Island, against American player Scoville Jenkins. In 2011, an owner of a betting parlor who was later arrested is heard saying that Starace agreed to sell the final of a tournament in Casablanca. Prosecutor Roberto Di Martino, who is leading the Cremona inquiry, confirmed the authenticity of the conversations and added that foreign tennis players might also be involved. Bracciali and Starace, neither of whom are officially under investigation, refused to comment. The Last Bet operation has resulted in more than 100 people placed under investigation in Italy since mid-2011, with suspect soccer matches being looked at by prosecutors in Cremona, Bari and Naples. The inquiry is branching out to other sports. Bracciali and Starace were already given suspensions in 2007-08 by the ATP for betting.

Source: Andrew Dampf, "Italian tennis players face corruption accusations", 15 October 2014, Associated Press, https://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=tennis&id=11704516

Spain

Sport Society Huesca filed a complaint against the football clubs Racing de Santander and Hércules de Alicante alleging that both clubs manipulated the match which they played against each other in June 2013 and which had a direct impact on Huesca’s relegation to the Segunda B division. Huesca is claiming that both clubs agreed to let Racing win so that it would not be relegated. Racing won the match 3-0. In July 2013, UEFA had informed the Spanish league that an unusual amount of bets were placed on this game.

Source: Manuel Altozano, "Partido amañado en la Audiencia", 17 October 2014, El Pais, https://deportes.elpais.com/deportes/2014/10/17/actualidad/1413568308_067916.html

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