INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 8-22 June 2020




Football. Algérie : un dirigeant et un agent écroués pour des soupçons de matches arrangés

Fahd Halfaia, directeur général de l’ES Sétif et un agent de joueurs, Nassim Saâdaoui, ont été écroués après avoir été inculpés par un juge d’instruction d’un tribunal d’Alger. Ils ont été entendus dans le cadre d’une enquête sur une affaire de matches truqués qui secoue le pays depuis la mi-mai, après la divulgation d’une conversation téléphonique entre les deux hommes, selon la même source.

Nassim Saâdaoui a été inculpé d’atteinte à la liberté d’autrui, diffamation, et enregistrement d’appel téléphonique sans consentement, alors que le patron de l’ES Sétif est poursuivi pour marchandage de matches, a précisé la même source. Cette affaire a éclaté après la diffusion sur les réseaux sociaux d’un enregistrement sonore impliquant les deux hommes et d’autres patrons de clubs de première division.

Le directeur général de l’ES Sétif conteste l’authenticité de cet enregistrement alors que Nassim Saâdaoui s’est défendu devant la justice en affirmant ignorer qu’il était d’interdit d’enregistrer des conversations téléphoniques. Mon but était de me protéger et prouver mon innocence dans ce marchandage de matches, a-t-il plaidé, selon l’agence algérienne. En mai 2019, deux hommes avaient été mis en examen en France pour des soupçons de matches arrangés impliquant cette même équipe de l’ES Sétif.

Lors d’un match entre le DRB Tadjenanet et l’ES Sétif, le 12 mai 2018, un opérateur avait signalé de nombreux paris atypiques passés sur un score exact avec des mises importantes par rapport aux mises habituelles, selon la justice française.

Ces « paris atypiques » avaient aussi été repérés par le système de surveillance de l’Autorité de régulation des jeux en lignes (Arjel). La rencontre s’était soldée par une victoire 3-2 du DRB Tadjenanet contre l’ES Sétif. Sur les cinq buts, trois avaient été inscrits sur penalty.

En 2018, la BBC avait diffusé une enquête avec des témoins anonymes décrivant la corruption comme un phénomène répandu dans le football algérien. Le Championnat algérien a été suspendu en mars en raison de la pandémie de Covid-19. Fin mai, la fédération algérienne de football (FAF) s’est déclarée favorable à une reprise du Championnat, qui demeure tributaire d’un feu vert du gouvernement.

Source: 8 June 2020,

Ouest France



Majority of ICC’s ongoing 50 fixing cases linked to corruptors in India: Official

Did the wide-ranging fallout of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal work as a deterrent against corruption in Indian cricket? Not so, say anti-corruption (ACU) officials in the sport.

These officials say the corruptors now look to target the state leagues as well as lesser known live competitions - smaller in scale and involving more vulnerable players. “We have 50 investigations that we are undertaking and majority have links to corruptors in India,” Steve Richardson, coordinator of investigations, International Cricket Council ACU said in a webinar on Sports Law and Policy on Saturday.

Of late, no high-profile Indian cricketer may have come under the lens, but the player-bookie nexus goes unabated, he said. “Players are the final link in the chain. Problem is with people who organise corruption, who pay the players; who sit outside the sport. I can deliver eight names to Indian governing agencies who are serial offenders and constantly approach the players,” Richardson added.

But for Covid 19 applying the brake on all state leagues, many of them would have been on by now. The Karnataka Premier League (KPL) remains suspended and police investigations are on after some players and a team owner were charged with fixing. “The police has filed partial charge-sheets in KPL matter. We are in the process of examination of that evidence,” BCCI ACU head Ajit Singh said.

“The entire malice emanates from (illegal) betting. Just to make windfall gains illegally through betting, they approach participants (players, support staff, officials, franchise owners) and the amount of money involved is unimaginable - an annual turnover of R30,000-40,000 crore; including sports and other activities. In state leagues, we got betting examined on certain matches and we discovered it comes to the tune of more than 2 million pounds per match,” said Singh.

ACU officials say nothing will change until match-fixing is made a criminal offence in India. “Sri Lanka was the first nation that brought a match-fixing law. For that reason, Sri Lanka cricket is better protected now. In Australia’s case, we are very proactive. At the moment, with no legislation in place in India, they are operating with one hand tied up,” said Richardson.

A robust law would also help protect ICC events better. “In Australia, they can stop someone coming to their country before the tournament. India too has ICC events coming up with the T20 World Cup (2021) and the 2023 ODI World Cup. Legislation would be a game changer.”

Singh said there would be a strong deterrent if the pending Prevention of Sports Fraud bill became law. “Fans put in a huge amount of emotion and this (fixing) happens… It starts at an early stage; those who are in sports betting nurture these players and start using them later for fixing. It needs to be curbed. For that you need a strong law. Currently it is archaic, and some of the conditions are laughable.”

Source: 20 June 2020,

Hindustan times


Sri Lanka

Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister backs his allegations made on match-fixing in 2011 World Cup final

The match on April 2, 2011, is one for folklore in the history of Indian cricket, as the ‘Men in Blue’ went on to win their third World title.

India chased down 275 set by Sri Lanka, thanks to vital contributions from Gautam Gambhir (97) and captain MS Dhoni (91 not out).

However, the Islander’s defeat did not go down well with the Lankan cricketing fraternity, as many, including former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, demanded an investigation of the summit clash.

One of the many voices which were vocal was that of former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. During his interview with local TV channel ‘Sirasa’, Aluthgamage claimed that the final was fixed.

Now, the current Sri Lanka Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma initiated the investigation and demanded a report explaining progress every week. On the other hand, sports secretary KADS Ruwanchandra, on Alahapperuma’s directive, has complained to the ministry’s investigation unit.

However, the allegations did not go down well with the former Lankan legends, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

Sangakkara was the captain of the Lankan side then while Jayawardena smashed a memorable ton in the finals at Wankhede.

“Is the elections around the corner…like the circus has started…names and evidence,” Jayawardena responded with his tweet.

Responding to Sangakkara and Jayawardene’s tweets, the former sports minister said that he lodged a complaint to ICC in 2012 regarding the matter and is still awaiting a response.

“The team who played the final match was not the team we had selected, finalized and sent off. At the last moment, without the consultation of either me as the then minister of Sports or officials of the Sri Lanka Cricket Control Board, four new players had been included to the team,” Aluthgamage told Daily Mirror.

“We saw this only when we watched the match. How could four players get replaced without due approvals and consultations? The new players were inexperienced compared to the rest of the team. Why did they do that out of the blue?” added the former minister.

Further, Aluthgamage revealed that an Indian newspaper knew about the changes in the Sri Lankan team on the eve of the final, while the sports minister was not intimated.

“Mahela has said that the circus has started. I don’t understand why Sanga and Mahela are making a big deal about this. I am not referring to any of our players. Everyone is talking about just two minutes of a half an hour interview I gave to a TV channel. Even Arjuna Ranatunga has openly talked about match-fixing issues earlier,” concluded Aluthgamage.

Source: 20 June 2020,

The Cricket Times


United Kingdom

Port Talbot: Crown Prosecution Service ends match-fixing investigation

The Crown Prosecution Service says that 11 people arrested over alleged match-fixing in a Welsh Premier League match in 2016 will not face criminal charges.

No-one has been charged since betting patterns on the Port Talbot Town v Rhyl match led to a police investigation.

Port Talbot lost 5-0 to Rhyl, who had not won in 17 games, on 9 April 2016

South Wales Police submitted a file to the CPS which has considered the evidence and determined that "the legal test for a prosecution was not met"

In a statement Port Talbot Town Football Club welcomed the outcome of the investigation, adding: "The impact of the original allegations on the club has been significant and caused a great deal of hardship over the last five years as a result.

"However, we are now keen to move on from this," said the statement, "and continue the excellent rebuilding work already in progress."

South Wales Police said in a statement that "there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges in this case"

"South Wales Police has concluded its investigation into allegations of match-fixing of a Welsh Premier League fixture involving Port Talbot Town Football Club," South Wales Police said.

"A file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which was reviewed in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and the decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges in this case."

South Wales Police's economic crime unit started the investigation after receiving information from the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Gambling Commission.

Eight men and three women - including players, staff and associates - were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

At the time, Rhyl had not won a league match since they beat Airbus Broughton UK 1-0 on 23 October 2015

Port Talbot were one place and 12 points ahead of Rhyl and had beaten them 4-0 less than two weeks before the match in question.

In a statement, the CPS told BBC Wales: "South Wales Police submitted a file to us to consider offences of Conspiracy to Defraud. We determined that, having considered all the evidence, the legal test for a prosecution was not met."

The FAW said in a statement: "The FAW is aware of the decision made by the CPS. We take allegations of match-fixing very seriously

"As the South Wales Police and the CPS have concluded their investigations, we will now continue with our own investigation and consider the allegations in accordance with the rules and regulations of the FAW."

The Gambling Commission says it does not comment on individual cases.

Source: 15 June 2020,

BBC Sports




Apex court acquits Nepali footballers of match-fixing, treason

The Supreme Court today acquitted former national football team skipper Sagar Thapa and five other players of treason and match-fixing in national and international games.

The division bench of justices Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Bam Kumar Shrestha upheld the Special Court’s order after the government had moved the Supreme Court. The Special Court had acquitted Thapa, his deputy Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa, former national team defender Bikash Singh Chhetri and coach Anjan KC, along with physio Dejib Thapa, on 7 June 2018.

“The truth prevailed today and we got justice from the Supreme Court as well,” Thapa wrote on his Facebook post immediately after the verdict.

“Now, who will be accountable for our lost time and efforts, the government or the ANFA?” he asked.

Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range had arrested the footballers from the valley on 14 October 2015 on the eve of the Dashain vacation and presented them before the Special Court on 27 October 2015. The Office of the Attorney General had booked them for treason as per Section 3.3.1 of the Crime Against State and Punishment Act-1989.

KMPR had claimed that the footballers had received $3,061 to $5,000 in matches of Merdeka Cup, Nehru Cup, SAFF Championship, Asian Games and international friendlies between 2008 and 2014.

The All Nepal Football Association and Asian Football Confederation also provisionally suspended the accused players from football-related activities, while the AFC banned them for life on 4 December 2015.

The then national team vice-captain Sandip Rai said they were glad that the apex court had cleared them of charges.

“The Special Court had cleared us two years ago and it took another two years at the Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court verdict, we can appeal to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sports against our life ban,” said Rai.

Rai is miffed at ANFA for abandoning them for six years. “ANFA treated us as traitors who destroyed the nation,” he added.

“After getting the Supreme Court clearance, we hope that ANFA will approach us and help us in our bid to appeal at FIFA and CAS against the life ban,” he added

Source: 17 June 2020, The Himalayan Times Football

Tennis Integrity Unit

Venezuelan match official Armando Alfonso Belardi Gonzalez suspended and fined for corruption offences

Venezuelan match official Armando Alfonso Belardi Gonzalez has been suspended for two years and six months and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of committing breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

$4,000 of the fine is suspended on condition that he commits no further breaches of the TACP

The disciplinary case was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard McLaren who, after considering the evidence obtained by a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation, found that Mr Gonzalez had:

failed to report two approaches he received in 2018 soliciting him to become involved in a corrupt scheme to manipulate match scores entered into his PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) device. Although he did not act on the approaches, his failure to disclose them to the TIU constituted a corruption offence failed to fully co-operate with a TIU investigation into the allegations against him

As a result of the sanction imposed, and with effect from 18 June 2020, he is prohibited from officiating in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis, for the duration of the two years and six months ban.

Mr Gonzalez, 40, has been a Bronze Badge chair umpire since March 2013.

The relevant Sections of the 2018 and 2019 TACP covering the offences are as follows:

Section D.2.b.i: “In the event any Related Person or Tournament Support Person is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Related Person or Tournament Support Person to (i) influence or attempt to influence the outcome of any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Related Person’s or Tournament Support Person’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible.”

Section F.2.c: “If the TIU believes that a Covered Person may have committed a Corruption Offense, the TIU may make a Demand to any Covered Person to furnish to the TIU any object or information regarding the alleged Corruption Offense, including, without limitation, (i) personal devices (including mobile telephone(s), tablets and/or laptop computers), (ii) access to any social media accounts and cloud storage held by the Covered Person (including provision of user names and passwords); (iii) hard copy or electronic records relating to the alleged Corruption Offense (including, without limitation, itemized telephone billing statements, text of SMS and WhatsApp messages received and sent, banking statements, Internet service records), computers, tablets, hard drives and other electronic information storage devices, and (iv) a written statement setting forth the facts and circumstances with respect to the alleged Corruption offense. The Covered Person shall furnish such information immediately, where practical to do so, or within such other time as may be set by the TIU….”

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to betting-related corruption in professional tennis.

Source: 19 June 2020,

Tennis Integrity Unit




Greece ratified CETS 215

On Tuesday 16 June 2020, Ambassador Panayiotis BEGLITIS, Permanent Representative of Greece, ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (CETS 215) in the presence of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. The Convention will enter into force with regard to Greece on 1 October 2020. Greece is the 7th member state to ratify the Convention, along with Italy, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine. 31 other states have signed it. The first meeting of the Convention Monitoring Committee will take place on 8 and 9 October 2020 in Strasbourg

Source: 16 June 2020,

Council of Europe

All Sports p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-4%26p_p_col_count%3D1


Bill criminalising ‘corruption in sports’ presented in National Assembly

A new bill entitled "Prevention of offences in sports act 2020" has been presented in the National Assembly, in order to tackle corruption in sports by drafting laws against it.

Member of the National Assembly Iqbal Mohammad Ali, who presented the bill in the Assembly, shared the details about its progress with Express News.

“We were working on this bill for the past few months. Due to the budget, there was no discussion on it till now. However, in the next meeting, I will inform the members [of the National Assembly] about the benefits of this bill. We have also forwarded the copy of this bill to the PCB chairman,” said Ali.

According to the bill, a special unit will be setup, which will investigate claims related to corruption according to the criminal act. Offences related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs.100 million or both together.

Similarly, if someone from a sports body is found to be involved in corruption, then that person will either have to serve a jail sentence of three years or pay a fine of Rs.0.2 million or do both.

The bill also proposes a one-year jail sentence or Rs.0.1 million fine or both to the person, who falsely accuses someone of corruption.

In case of an allegation of corruption being proved, the properties of the accused person and his family will be confiscated.

The bill also proposes to punish curators, umpires and match officials who deliberately misuse their authority for financial or other gains.

It must be noted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had already drafted new laws against match-fixing and forwarded the document to Prime Minister Imran Khan

Source: 19 June 2020, Tribune

All Sports



FIFA recognised in leading parliamentary report for integrity work at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019

FIFA’s work in the fight against match manipulation has been recognised by a leading report submitted recently to the Council of Europe’s Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur is Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe member Roland Rino Büchel (Switzerland).

Titled ‘Time to act: Europe’s political response to fighting the manipulation of sports competitions’, the report highlights recent steps, best practice and legislation being implemented by governments and other organisations in the fight against match manipulation and highlights the recent FWWC Integrity Task Force implemented for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™.

As part of its commitment to proactively safeguarding football’s integrity, FIFA joined forces with key integrity stakeholders – including the Council of Europe’s Group of Copenhagen (GoC), and particularly the French National Platform; Sportradar; the Global Lottery Monitoring System; and INTERPOL, amongst others – to create the FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force.

The aim of the FWWC Integrity Task Force was to monitor any suspicious activity potentially affecting the integrity of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. In addition, several preventative measures were put in place with confederations and participating member associations before the start of the tournament.

Within the report, the FWWC Integrity Task Force was highlighted as an example of best practice in protecting a major international sport events for the “unprecedented number of stakeholders” that were involved, which included FIFA, Interpol, the Council of Europe, the Group of Copenhagen, law enforcement agencies, betting regulators, all relevant French authorities, Sportradar and the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS).

Speaking on the acknowledgement, Oliver Jaberg, FIFA’s Deputy Chief Legal & Compliance Officer and Director of Integrity & Anti-Doping said:

“The recognition of the work carried out by FIFA and other stakeholders at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 by a Council of Europe parliamentary report is an important acknowledgement of the significant work being carried out in this field.

“As highlighted in the report, FIFA is committed to ensuring a multi-stakeholder approach to protecting its competitions and will continue to work together with governments and key stakeholders at a local, national and international level to combat match manipulation in football.”

Source: 9 June 2020,

FIFA Football



GLMS-EL-WLA Sports Integrity Webinar

Following the unprecedented health crisis unlike one the world has seen in modern history, the global lottery community (Global Lottery Monitoring System – European Lotteries – World Lottery Association) will be organizing its first joint sport integrity webinar in a special 3-hours-a-day format.

The webinar will address the new normal to which the lotteries, the sport movement, the sports betting sector and public stakeholders will have to adapt in a climate that saw the sport ecosystem slowing down or even coming to a halt. During the pandemic, sports betting operators have been proposing bet opportunities on unusual competitions, triggering specific types of investigations and increasing the level of vigilant monitoring and need for closer co-operation with the law enforcement and sports sectors.

Panels and presentations will include information on the monitoring activities and trends over the last three months and how lotteries from East to West and other stakeholders have been dealing with this unprecedented situation.

The sessions will also present industry leaders’ prominent opinions on how the sport movement, law enforcement agencies and lotteries have been working together effectively in investigations and awareness-raising activities, facilitated by GLMS. The webinar will also address the recent growth of the US sports betting sector and the responses to the definition of recovery and post COVID-19 recovery strategies .

Topics: GLMS during the pandemic: Gearing up for a new normal in the world of sports integrity Impact of COVID-19 on the Lottery Sector & Lotteries in the immediate future Working with LEA to combat criminal aspects of sports manipulations Working with the sport movement to protect sports integrity The rise of e-sports amidst COVID-19 Sports betting in the US Sports betting product strategies Th full programme is forthcoming! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At a laptop near you!

Source: 8 June 2020,


All Sports



Friendly matches between clubs are wide open for match- fixing

Football matches are coming back after the corona lockdown and so is match-fixing. Steve Menary outlines the problems in stemming the rise of match-fixing in friendly games between clubs: Data scouts with low integrity, lack of monitoring, and federations that do not take responsibility. As football prepares to resume in Europe after the worst of the Covid-19 virus appears to have passed, clubs are beginning their preparations with friendly matches against each other.

After the sport’s enforced absence, these supposedly non-competitive games will be far more important than normal for fans and bookmakers, but also for match-fixers. With little or no football being played during the worst of the virus, match-fixers were left frustrated at the lack of action and the swathe of forthcoming friendlies offer a unique window of opportunity.

Friendly matches are routinely offered on the gambling markets by both more responsible regulated operators and the unlicensed sector, mainly based in Asia, where huge sums are bet on football.

During the worst of the virus, some of the more desperate operators offered bets on soap football. Others offered the Taiwanese university football league or even in some cases bets on deaths from Covid-19. Now, with a rash of friendlies about to be played, well-regulated operators and the unlicensed sector will both have seemingly more credible bets to offer.

However, every year, dozens of European friendly matches come under suspicion for suspicious betting and this trend is rising. In the 2019 edition of the Suspicious Betting Trends in Global Football Report, 2.0 percent of all friendlies analysed in the previous 2018 season were deemed suspicious due to irregular betting movements. The proportion of friendlies deemed suspicious was far higher than the total for all games.

With most leagues cancelled, there has been a surge of matches attracting suspicion in Europe in countries including Armenia and Belarus to Georgia to Russia and Sweden.

Figure 1: Share of suspicious football matches in percent

Match type2017 (%)2018 (%) Friendlies1,202,00 All Games0,730,61

Even more concerning is that players are also reporting fixed matches that do not appear in betting alerts as large amounts of small bets are either placed in High Street bookmakers or on the amorphous Asian markets, where they rarely register. Despite these facts sporting sanctions are rare if non-existent and in many countries, friendly matches are a largely unsanctioned free-for-all often played in an integrity vacuum. Data scouts are key to matchfixing So how does this system work and what can be done about the Wild West world of club football friendlies?

In-play betting on all matches is made possible when data scouts attend matches and relay information about incidents – corners, red cards, goals – to data companies. The data companies then sell this information on in real-time to gambling companies, who offer up these friendly matches for bets.

With league matches, fixtures are easy to locate but friendlies are not publicised in the same way, particularly in eastern Europe. So, local data scouts offer to cover these games both for data companies and Asian bookmakers, who sometimes also send their own scouts to matches.

The data companies and Asian bookmakers are reliant on the integrity of these scouts, who can work with clubs planning a fix. Scouts will offer to cover games to get them onto the gambling markets. Once a game is available for betting with one operator, other bookmakers, particularly in Asia, will then also offer the match to try and avoid losing clients.

In this unregulated environment it can be difficult to trust data scouts as the data company Perform Group (now STATS Perform) learned the hard way in 2015.

That year data scouts were essential in helping to perpetrate a scam during the midwinter break in Belarus where a fictional match – a so-called ghost game – was created to fool bookmakers. After that STATS Perform set up its own system where data scouts are vetted and have contracts that prevent them from working for rival companies.

Scouts are often people doing the job on a part-time basis and can be poorly remunerated. The temptation to trick data companies can be hard to resist, and the consequences can be fatal as Chinese students Zhen Xing Yang and his girlfriend Xi Zhou discovered in 2008.

The pair, who were brutally murdered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England in 2008, were both data scouts and had been delaying transmission of information from English games to Chinese bookmakers by a few seconds so gamblers with knowledge of their activities could bet on events knowing the outcome.

The role of data scouts also came under the spotlight in March 2020 in the Ukraine, where criminal elements arranged and staged ghost games using players pretending to be part of real clubs to fool bookmakers in Asia.

Spotting the fix Before and during games, gambling operators and data companies monitor the odds for games. If the price suddenly shortens, or betting volumes increase for no obvious reason, it suggests a match could have been manipulated and will generate an alert.

On a friendly, this can be more problematic. These matches are not official, so team line-ups are not always available. The strength or weakness of a team is not always clear until after a match kicks off. If the price is then adjusted after kick-off, this can create a sudden shift in the odds and prompt a false alert.

Gambling companies should research suspicious matches. If the gambling companies are regulated and part of a larger body, such as the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) or the Global Lotteries Monitoring System, these bodies will receive information from members about these alerts and information will be passed on to the football authorities.

If the gambling companies are not part of a body like IBIA or simply do not want to co-operate with sports authorities then alerts may not be passed on. Many of the biggest bookmakers operate in Asia and are unregulated as gambling is illegal in a lot of the countries where they are taking bets, usually on football. So, there is no incentive to pass on information about suspicious matches.

Friendlies are mostly ignored by federations After the problems with ghost matches in the Ukraine, UEFA issued a warning about potential problems with friendlies. As part of this warning, UEFA asked national federations if clubs informed them of friendlies.

In Austria, which stages nearly 300 club friendlies every summer, the Austrian football federation regulates friendlies and records all matches. In neighbouring Germany, the Bundesliga and the German Football Association (DfB) also record matches and use separate companies to monitor friendlies played by all clubs in the top two divisions. However, in many other European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, friendlies are virtually ignored.

National federations often only find out about their clubs playing friendlies abroad from social media, or even the websites of online gambling firms as there is little or no organised monitoring of these games for betting alerts in many European countries.

Finding a team line-up for a friendly can also be difficult and compunds the problem as it is difficult to take action against players if you don’t know who they are. Sometimes the location is not even evident, yet thousands of these games are routinely offered by gambling companies, particularly in Asia, where demand for football betting is strongest.

No regulation even though the problem is well known There is no effective regulation of friendly matches, even though football authorities have known about the problems with matchfixing for some time.

For instance, in 2015 the International Centre for Sports Security warned that a series of friendlies played at Marbella in southern Spain had been corrupted. In one game between Belgian club Standard Liege and Heerenveen from the Netherlands, the match had to be abandoned after a series of dubious decisions by the referee. This farrago culminated in the Dutch side’s goalkeeper saving a penalty, which the referee insisted – for no obvious reason – had to be retaken. The goalkeeper responded by walking off the field.

The other team identified in the series of flagged games from 2015 was Albanian club Skenderbeu, that in 2018 were banned for a decade by UEFA, who said that the club had been ‘fixing matches like nobody has done before’.

Last year, Marbella was again the centre of attention for a series of suspicious matches involving Latvian side Ventspils, whose games generated alerts for suspicious betting. In one game with Norwegian FK Jerv, eight of the Latvian players suddenly all attacked leaving their stranded goalkeeper and two defenders to try and repel a series of attacks until the Norwegian side finally won 1-0.

The game was live streamed on the Internet, giving unwitting punters in Asia and the rest of the world the opportunity to bet on a mid-winter training ground friendly between a Latvian club and a Norwegian third division team

The promoters of the game denied all knowledge of match fixing. The Spanish federation, the RFEF, investigated the claims and filed reports to the local police and UEFA, but no action has so far been taken

Taking responsibility After the spate of recent problems in Brazil and the Ukraine, IBIA called on data companies to agree standards for best practice. Leading suppliers Genius and Sportradar were generally supportive and STATS Perform even suggested introducing independent audits.

Tightening data supply standards will help, but sporting federations also need to take responsibility for friendlies. The reason for the lack of action is often identifying who should take responsibility. If two clubs from different countries go to a third country, who is responsible: the countries that the clubs come from or the hosts?

If all three clubs are from the same confederation, then FIFA say the responsibility lies with UEFA but the problem for the European body lies in the transnational nature of the issue, which UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin acknowledged last October.

“Our problem always was and always is that, even if we know many things, each case has to be prosecuted,” said Ceferin.

“The main problem is that our jurisdiction ends at football. We cannot tap phones, we cannot put people in prison, and with many computer servers being 10,000km from Europe, it’s a problem we cannot solve on our own.”

UEFA subsequently began the search for an organisation to carry out a feasibility study into the creation of a new body to tackle integrity. Earlier this year, a candidate was identified but has not been named by UEFA due to what it describes as ‘commercial confidentiality’.

The idea of a sort of World Anti-Doping Association to tackle sporting integrity issues was discussed at Play the Game’s 2019 conference in Colorado Springs. The problem is that UEFA’s 55 member associations would need to vote this through and there are enough that would not want to help create a new integrity body that might start snooping in their affairs.

The creation of a more focused body created solely to focus on match fixing just in Europe has more chance of success, and identifying responsibility for the regulation of friendlies should be one of the first problems to be tackled before the issue comes back to haunt them.

Source: Steve Menary, 22 June 2020, Play the Game Football


PCB gets Imran Khan''s backing to criminalise match-fixing

Karachi, Jun 17 (PTI) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the patron-in-chief of the country''s cricket board, has approved the PCB''s plan to revise its anti-corruption code and make match-fixing a criminal offence. According to a Pakistan Cricket Board source, the green signal came when PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani met with Imran earlier this week where the premier also gave the clearance for the national team to tour England despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Imran supported the draft copy of the new laws and advised Mani to get it cleared by the Law and other relevant ministries so that it can be tabled in the parliament and become a written law," the source said.

Under the new code, the board intends to criminalise match-fixing and spot-fixing and also specify punishments for offenders, including jail time.

"The new laws would give the PCB''s Anti-Corruption and security unit the power to not only probe money trails and assets off players/officials/persons but also carry out raids where required and file criminal cases," the source said.

"Under the new laws, proven offenders will serve jail time plus the board will get powers to probe all assets and money trails of any player it suspects of being involved in corruption," he added.

Until now, the PCB has implemented the Anti-Corruption code, which is followed by the International Cricket Council. That code does not criminalise corruption in cricket and is limited in its punishments for offenders.

Experts and analysts say that the absence of clear punishments for offenders has encouraged players to still indulge in corruption as they know they can get away with a few years ban and return to playing cricket

Pakistan cricket has reported a number of cases where its players have been found guilty of fixing matches, accepting approaches from bookmakers or not reporting such approaches.

The most recent example being that of Test batsman Umar Akmal who has now filed an appeal against his three-year ban before an Independent adjudicator.

More recently, a court in Manchester in the UK sent Pakistani opener Nasir Jamshed and two other bookmakers from the country to jail for corruption.

The PCB has also banned Jamshed for 10-years. PTI Cor PM PM

Source: 17 June 2020, Outlook The News Scroll Cricket

United Kingdom

Criminals Will Use Coronavirus To Fix Soccer Games

Ex-pro Moses Swaibu has a warning for the English soccer authorities. They need to be ready, because the criminals are.

The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic make players more vulnerable to match-fixers looking to influence the outcomes of games.

“Now, more than ever, there's going to be an even bigger threat,” Swaibu tells me.

“People are trying to take a stake in a bad situation, which at the moment happens to be coronavirus.”

The former Crystal Palace academy graduate understands what it is like to be targeted by this criminal element.

Back in 2015, he spent four months in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery, following an investigation into match-fixing and an alleged betting syndicate.

These days he channels those experience into raising awareness and training other young players about the dangers that exist.

But he’s concerned. While Premier League PINC sides are signing up in significant numbers to be educated on the subject, further down the pyramid, where the threat is even greater, awareness is not as good as needs to be.

Source: 15 June 2020,

Forbes Football


Council of Europe

The Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (the Macolin Convention)

The “Typology Framework of sports manipulations” was elaborated by the Group of Copenhagen for the use of its members. It classifies the different types of competition manipulation that could fall within the definition provided by the article 3 of the Macolin Convention. The Framework promotes clearer communication across the Group of Copenhagen about the types of manipulations that National Platforms will likely encounter. The Framework also provides a basis upon which uniformed statistical information can be collected to help the Group of Copenhagen members identify areas of risk or emerging threats.

Source: 17 June 2020,

Council of Europe

All Sports


Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF)

Former IAAF President Diack brands son as "thug" during corruption trial

Former International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) President Lamine Diack has criticised his son at his corruption trial in Paris, branding him "a thug."

Diack, 87, made the remarks about his son Papa Massata under questioning, after claiming he only learned from investigators that his son, who is not present in person at the trial, was involved in doping files, as reported by L'Équipe.

Appearing before the 32nd Chamber of the Paris criminal court, the former boss of the IAAF, now World Athletics, spoke in court today about alleged corruption within the organisation during his tenure at the helm from 1999 to 2015.

Under questioning, Diack refused to establish a clear link between the management of Russian doping cases and funding of $1.5 million (£1.19 million/€1.32 million) to contribute to the defeat of his rival Abdoulaye Wade in the 2012 Presidential election in Senegal.

In relation to the management of the doping cases, Diack told the court that he made the decision to spread out disciplinary sanctions against Russia, claiming he did so in order to protect the IAAF's finances.

"The financial health [of the IAAF] had to be safeguarded, and I was ready to make this compromise," Diack said.

Diack, whose speech was described as "disjointed" during his appearance was also asked about allegations that he obtained Russian funds to support Macky Sall's 2012 bid to become President of Senegal, in exchange for the IAAF's anti-doping arm covering up offences by the country's athletes.

When questioned by judge Rose Marie-Hinault, who is overseeing the trial, on this point Diack's answer was hazy

Referring to the Russians he said: "It was they who asked me if I wanted to be a candidate," before going on to concede that the sum of "1.5 million dollars" was mentioned to the country's then-Minister of Sports Vitali Mutko

Diack claimed that the sum of $1.5 million had come from Russia, and that he sought the amount from the former boss of the Russian Federation of Athletics (ARAF), Valentin Balakhnitchev, who is also on trial as part of the case.

Diack claimed in court that he was not aware of the financial blackmail exercised against doped Russian athletes, who were forced to pay hundreds of thousands of euros to benefit from so-called "total protection."

Prosecutors had claimed that Diack solicited €3.45 million (£3.1 million/$3.9 million) from athletes to conceal their doping offences, allowing them to participate in events like the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

The delay in sanctions against Russian athletes allowed them to participate in these major events, before they were ousted for doping several years later. Diack claimed this was not part of his original plan and that he had obtained guarantees from Balakhnitchev that they did not appear in the doping charts. He went on to highlight the case of one of the athletes, marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, who he claimed "ran and abandoned" at the London 2012 Games.

In response judge Hinault said: "The idea that someone takes part in order not to win is to fake the results, it's not sport!" The case will continue tomorrow with the hearings scheduled to last six days.

Speaking outside the court following the day's proceedings, Diack's lawyer Simon Ndiaye said his client was not intending to be uncooperative by giving limited answers to questions.

"I’m not a doctor but I think that because of his age, there are things he doesn’t fully understand in the questions that are asked of him," Ndiaye said, as reported by the Associated Press.

Ndiaye added that Diack wanted to "clear his name" and denied suggestions that he was unwilling to answer questions about the case.

The other defendants in the case are Papa Massata Diack, Lamine Diack's former advisor Habib Cisse, Gabriel Dolle, the former anti-doping chief at the IAAF, ex-ARAF President Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov, the former head Russian athletics distance coach

Source: 11 June 2020,

Inside the Games Athletics

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

Prosecutors seek four-year sentence for Lamine Diack

Former IAAF president has attended court in Paris, where he faced corruption and money-laundering charges

French prosecutors have sought a four-year sentence for former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack during his trial in Paris.

Prosecutors also requested that the 87-year-old’s son and co-defendant Papa Massata Diack, a former IAAF marketing consultant, receives a five-year sentence and that both men are fined €500,000 each.

They both faced charges of corruption, money laundering and breach of trust — charges which they deny.

Their co-defendants – former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle and Diack’s former aide Habib Cisse, plus former Russian athletics chief and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev and Russian coach Alexei Melnikov – all also deny their own charges.

While Lamine Diack was in Paris for the trial, Papa Massata Diack remained in their native Senegal, having refused to be extradited to France.

The trial was due to have taken place in January but was delayed due to new evidence.

The verdicts are expected in September.

Lamine Diack was the head of athletics’ world governing body – now known as World Athletics – for 16 years, from 1999 until 2015, when he was succeeded by Seb Coe.

Earlier this year the BBC reported that World Athletics is seeking €41.2m (more than £35m) in compensation from the six defendants due to loss of sponsorship revenue and damage to reputation of the global governing body.

The charges are linked to the Russian doping scandal and last week the BBC reported that Lamine Diack told the court that the handling of Russian doping cases between 2011-2013 was delayed “for the financial health” of the IAAF.

“We were going through a difficult moment financially,” he is quoted as saying.

“My duty was to make sure the IAAF got out of it.”

Source: 19 June 2020,

Athletics Weekly




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