The year kicks off with both disciplinary and criminal sanctions for match-fixing in football in Malta. UEFA has suspended six players, two of whom for life, and a football manager has been handed a suspended jail term for involvement in manipulating. Maltese authorities responded that they will update and strengthen their legal frameworks in the fight against match-fixing.
The Court of Arbitration in Sport upheld the ban FIFA imposed on referee Joseph Lamptey, further revealing that the disgraced referee has been involved in six fixed matches over the last years. In Austria, prosecutors are investigating a payment by FIFA to the head of the Austrian Football Federation. In India, players and club officials reported an approach to the integrity officer of the national federation and to the Asian Football Confederation. In addition, a Japanese kayaker has been banned from competition for eight years for spiking the drink of a rival so that he would fail a doping test. Finally, a Thai boxer was accused of match-fixing and was physically assaulted following a knockout.
In terms of sanctions, the International Cricket Council has suspended a former cricket official from Zimbabwe for his involvement in fixing international games. When it comes to good practices in cricket, Bangladesh announced that will set up special courts at its cricket stadiums to try and convict any punters caught gambling during upcoming international series. Gamblers caught during the tri-nation series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, starting 15 January 2018, would be hauled from the stands and tried on the spot by judges in temporary courtrooms.
Cooperation between stakeholders to prevent competition manipulation is essential, and the Victoria Police in Australia announced a new partnership to swiftly exchange information with ESSA, a group of mainly European sports betting operators. Similarly, the Asian Football Confederation and Sportradar renewed and strengthened their cooperation to protect the Integrity of Asian football. Moreover, FIFA and the Council of Europe established a strong partnership to better promote human rights in sport and are aiming to have an agreement ready for signature by the end of 2018.
Additionally, Council of Europe reports call for more reforms in international sport. At the upcoming winter session in Strasbourg, good governance in sport is among the key topics to be discussed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The Parliamentary Assembly will debate the outcome of the reports on 24 January 2018, and is expected to adopt final resolutions on Sports Governance and on Governance in Football.
Prosecutors investigating FIFA payment to head of Austrian Football Federation
Head of the Austrian Football Federation Leo Windtner is under investigation by prosecutors over a payment from FIFA at the time of Sepp Blatter's re-election in 2015.
"We are investigating because of the suspicion of breach of trust and corruption," the public prosecution office for economic and corruption affairs (WKStA) said.
The $100,000 (84,000 euros) transfer was made by FIFA, the world governing body, to a project supporting young footballers in Africa at the beginning of 2015.
Source: AFP, 10 January 2018, Sky Sports
Another match fixing case: Manager handed suspended jail term
Uchenna Anyanwu, manager of the Pembroke Athleta football team, has been condemned to a year's jail term suspended for two years and fined €1,000 after being convicted of attempting to bribe players in the latest match fixing scandal to hit Maltese football.
Mr Anyanwu, 31 was found guilty of having, in January and February last year, attempted to fix the Premier League game between Mosta and Birkirkara and Pembroke vs Mosta. The case was discovered without any money changing hands.
Police inspectors Robert Vella and Elton Taliana prosecuted.
Mr Anyanwu has already been banned for life by the Malta Football Association.
Yesterday, European football body UEFA banned six Malta under-21 football players for match-fixing offences in relation to two European qualifying matches played less than two years ago.
Source: 10 January 2018, Times of Malta
UEFA Bans Six Malta Under-21 Players For Match-Fixing Offences
The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has banned six Malta under-21 international players, two of them for life, for match-fixing offences.
UEFA initiated disciplinary investigations against the seven Malta under-21 players for allegedly having broken several provisions of Article 12 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations in connection to potential match-fixing issues.
The investigation related to two UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2017 matches played in March by Malta against Montenegro on 23 March 2016 and the Czech Republic on 29 March 2016.
On 14 and 15 December 2017, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body held several hearings to examine the cases of each of the different individuals allegedly involved in match-fixing activities.
The six players that were disciplined were Emanuel Briffa, Kyle Cesare, Samir Arab, Ryan Camenzuli, Llywelyn Cremona, and Luke Montebello.
Emanuel Briffa and Kyle Cesare have been given a lifelong ban from all football related activity for having acted in a manner that is likely to exert an unlawful or undue influence on the course and result of a match or competition with a view to gaining an advantage for himself or a third part.
Samir Arab has been given a two year ban for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition.
Ryan Camenzuli has been given a 1 year 6 months ban as well as community football service for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course or result of a match or competition.
Llywelyn Cremona and Luke Montebello has been given a ban for 12 months as well as being sentenced to community football service for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA.
Matthew Cremona is allowed to participate in all football activities after the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body decided to close the disciplinary proceedings opened against him.
UEFA President Aleksander eferin called match-fixing "a disease that attacks football’s very core”, and promised further resources dedicated to stopping match-fixing.
Source: Johnathan Cilia, 9 January 2018, Lovin Malta
FIFA statement on CAS decision relating to match official Joseph Odartei Lamptey
FIFA has taken note of the motivated arbitral award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirming the lifetime ban imposed by FIFA’s Disciplinary and Appeal Committees on Ghanaian match official Joseph Odartei Lamptey.
FIFA’s judicial bodies had banned Mr Lamptey for life for breaching art. 69 par 1 (unlawfully influencing match results) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying match between South Africa and Senegal on 12 November 2016.
In its ruling, CAS concluded that Mr Lamptey had intentionally taken two wrong decisions with the sole purpose of enabling a specific number of goals to be scored that would make pertinent bets successful. CAS concluded that there was an obvious link between these intentionally wrong decisions and a deviation from an expected betting pattern, and consequently found Mr Lamptey guilty of having unlawfully influenced the result of the match.
This CAS decision underlines FIFA’s commitment to protecting the integrity of football and its zero-tolerance policy on match manipulation, while also highlighting the effectiveness of its current agreement with Sportradar that uses their Fraud Detection System, which played an important role in this case.
Source: 15 January 2018, FIFA
ICC suspends Zimbabwe official
The International Cricket Council have suspended former Zimbabwe Cricket board member Rajan Nayer in connection with match fixing. Nayar has been charged with breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code on three counts, including offering a player cash to improperly influence an international match.
He is the treasurer and marketing director of the Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association, the association that runs league cricket in Harare and oversees domestic franchise the Mashonaland Eagles.
Nayar He has been charged with breaching Article 2.1.1 of the ICC’s code (being party to an effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of an international match or matches) and offering a player US$30 000 for the same. Subsequently, he has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect from his roles at the HMCA.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Nayar was the man who had approached Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer in October last year with an offer to engage in corrupt activities. When the Cremer news was reported, an ICC spokesperson had confirmed that an Anti-Corruption Unit investigation was “ongoing in Zimbabwe”.
At the time, the Cremer incident was the second time in two months that news had emerged of a corrupt approach made to an international captain. Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, also reported an allegedly corrupt approach in October. Also, days later, senior Indian curator Pandurang Salgaoncar was dismissed by the BCCI for “malpractice” after a sting operation by a TV channel produced footage of him talking to reporters allegedly posing as bookies about the Pune pitch ahead of an ODI between India and New Zealand.
Nayar is a n official who is well known to players, a number of whom have expressed surprise that he has been implicated in such an investigation. He has 14 days, starting from 16 January, to respond to the charges. - Sports Reporter/Cricinfo.
Source: 19 January 2018, The Herald
Malta Will Soon Have Harsher Laws To Fight Sports Corruption
A new law will be introduced in the near future to clamp down on the problem of match-fixing in Maltese sports, the government has announced.
The new law will impose harsher penalties on match-fixing, offer protection to whistleblowers, widen the legal definition of sports corruption to include match-fixing through betting, and extend the Maltese criminal courts’ jurisdiction to allow them to punish people who fix matches from another country.
“This is a clear sign of the government’s commitment towards a zero tolerance policy on sports corruption, and of its intent to protect people who end up victims of organised criminal groups that threaten the integrity of sports around the world,” parliamentary secretary for sports Clifton Grima said.
The problem of corruption in Maltese sports was laid bare this week after UEFA banned six Malta under-21 players, two of them for life, for match-fixing offences during European U-21 Championship matches against Montenegro and the Czech Republic. Two of them, Emmanuel Briffa and Kyle Cesare, were banned from football for life.
Following these penalties, Malta’s national team captain Andre Schembri warned the plague of sports corruption reflects how corruption has infiltrated Maltese society at all levels.
Source: Tim Diacono, 11 January 2018, Lovin Malta
Japanese kayaker banned eight years for spiking rival's drink
A Japanese kayaker has been banned from competition for eight years for spiking the drink of a rival so that he would fail a doping test.
Yasuhiro Suzuki drugged his key rival at last year’s national championships in September. Suzuki spiked the drink of rival Seiji Komatsu with an anabolic steroid causing him to fail a doping test, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency said on Tuesday. Both men had been competing for a place at the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo.
The Japan Canoe Federation began investigating after Komatsu tested positive but denied ever taking drugs. After Komatsu tested positive, Suzuki admitted putting a muscle-building supplement containing the banned steroid methandienone in his drink.
The incident is Japan’s first case of an athlete failing a doping test due to deliberate contamination, according to the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, which handed down the eight-year ban.
Source: Associated Press in Tokyo, 9 January 2018, The Guardian
Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
AFC extends and expands partnership with Sportradar’s Intelligence and Investigation Services
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today signed a new agreement with sports data company Sportradar for an historic partnership in the field of integrity, specifically addressing match-fixing.
Sportradar’s Intelligence and Investigation Services will now be engaged with the AFC from the 2018 and 2019 seasons to investigate those behind the fraud on the pitch in Asia. This comes after all matches in the top two leagues and cups in the AFC Member Associations, as well as in AFC competitions, will be monitored for betting patterns as part of an existing agreement between the AFC, Sportradar and FIFA.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who joined Sportradar Chief Executive Carsten Koerl at the signing, said: “In the AFC Vision and Mission, the fight against match-fixing is imperative and remains ongoing. We, at the AFC, take this threat extremely seriously and our actions during recent years demonstrate our zero-tolerance stance. But we also appreciate that times are changing, and technology is needed to combat this ever-growing threat. Sportradar’s technology and proven expertise will help us to target those corrupting our game.”
AFC General Counsel & Director of Legal Affairs Benoit Pasquier added: “Sportradar’s Intelligence & Investigation Services have played a crucial role in previous AFC cases and they provided firm support to the AFC Judicial Bodies.”
Carsten Koerl said: “We are delighted, honoured and proud that the AFC is taking such a determined step in the fight against match-fixing. Our Fraud Detection System has long been proven as a potent weapon against match manipulation. And now our Intelligence and Investigation products will give the AFC an added layer of protection.”
Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System and Intelligence and Investigation Services are world leaders in their field, partnering with over 70 football associations and have been involved in investigations leading to 214 sporting sanctions and 24 criminal convictions.
Source: 9 January 2018, Sportradar
World first agreement to crack down on suspicious sports betting
SUSPICIOUS betting activity and betting-related match fixing will be targeted in a world first agreement to provide police with real-time alerts and information to catch criminals.
The Letter of Agreement was signed between Victoria Police and sports betting monitor the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) in December last year.
The agreement will be in place for 2018 sporting events in Victoria, including the Australian Open.
Police will be able to receive real-time betting alerts from ESSA on sporting events Australia-wide should any matches exhibit suspicious betting activity.
These alerts will be sent to the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit, but ESSA will not be able to access any law enforcement data.
This is a world first agreement between ESSA and a law enforcement agency, with the organisation previously only sharing data with sporting federations and gambling regulators.
Previously police had to rely on ESSA alerts being sent to them from sporting federations, of which not all are members of the organisation or may be able to provide them to police immediately.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter Brigham said corruption in sport is one of the fast growing crime types globally and this agreement will allow Victoria Police to target and investigate these crimes better than ever before.
“We often refer to Melbourne as Australia’s sporting capital, however with that title comes a level of risk in relation to sports betting,” he said.
“It is a massive business and in such a lucrative market there is always the potential for corruption,
He said the real time aspects of the alerts will give investigators the ability to act quickly and even attend the sporting event in question to immediately commence the investigation.
“The challenge for police is to stay ahead of the game when it comes to this offending and to continually strive to create an environment where it’s difficult for those criminals to exist,” he said.
“This agreement with ESSA highlights Victoria Police’s commitment to taking steps to create an environment that will make it difficult for organised crime to infiltrate our shores and our sporting codes.” In 2016, ESSA reported a total of 130 alerts of suspicious activity.
Source: 15 January 2018, Herald Sun
Bangladesh to set up special courts inside cricket stadiums
DHAKA: Bangladesh will set up special courts at its cricket stadiums to try and convict any punters caught gambling during an upcoming international series, an official said Monday.
Gamblers caught during the tri-nation series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe — starting January 15 — would be hauled from the stands and tried on the spot by judges in temporary courtrooms, a cricket board official said.
“Betting will be treated as a public nuisance. Anyone found involved will be convicted and punished instantly in the stadium,” Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury told AFP.
The special courts will continue to target gamblers during Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh, which starts at the end of January after the tri-nation series.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will play two Test matches and two T20Is.
Gambling is illegal but rampant during cricket matches in Bangladesh, where punters exploit a brief delay between live play and the official broadcast of results to place frantic bets.
Authorities threw nearly 80 spectators out of matches for placing bets using their mobile phones during the latest edition of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament, which concluded last month.
At least a dozen of them were foreigners.
Police in November deported at least five Indians caught gambling during these short format matches.
So-called “mobile courts” are popular in Bangladesh. In October, more than 200 people accused of abuses against Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s southeast were jailed by special courts there.
Source: AFP, 9 January 2018, The Express Tribune
Council of Europe
Council of Europe reports call for stronger governance reforms in sport
During its upcoming winter session in Strasbourg, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will discuss sport’s governance challenges and the need for enhanced international co-operation and regulation.
“In recent years, an avalanche of scandals has marred values of fair-play and revealed an urgent need to reform the archaic management models of sports governance that lack democratic structures, transparency and accountability in decision-making, and continue to feed the ground for corruption and impunity.”
With these critical remarks, Council of Europe (COE) Rapporteur, Mogens Jensen, calls for more reforms in international sport in a report to the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the (COE).
At the upcoming winter session in Strasbourg, good governance in sport is among the key topics to be discussed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Accordingly, Jensen’s report will provide the basis for the discussion in PACE on January 24.
On the same day, the assembly will pay special attention to “Good football governance”, which is the title of a report by another rapporteur, Anne Brasseur from Luxembourg. She argues that “A radical change in the culture of football governance is needed (see more below).
Both rapporteurs recognise that progress has been made in recent years in the fight against corruption and malpractice in sport, but they also agree that the situation is far from satisfying. They both propose various ways of strengthening the independent oversight over how sport is run by bodies on the inside of the organisations as well as on the outside
Mogens Jensen’s report proposes a framework that includes common criteria of good governance, a certification standard on governance of sports organisations and an independent sports ethics rating system.
Moreover, the report recommends the drafting of a convention on good governance in sport: A legally binding agreement between countries, such as the Council of Europe already has in the fields of match-fixing, doping and spectator violence. Jensen also suggests a parliamentary alliance for good governance and integrity in sport with the aim of bringing together national parliaments and international parliamentary bodies around a meaningful discussion on sports governance and integrity issues.
The need for an independent sports governance foundation
Jensen argues that the current void of strong leadership inside sport towards achieving better governance could be filled by a new more inclusive and democratically run international multi-stakeholder platform or alliance that would dare to set the targets high and be bold enough to live up to the declared ambitions.
According to Jensen, an independent international multi-stakeholder platform could take the lead in:
Bringing all stakeholder groups on board in defining the common governance benchmarks in sports governance.
Offering monitoring, consultancy and coaching to sports organisations of various sizes in order to help them through institutional reforms.
Setting up an independent professional compliance assessment of the implementation of the accepted basic standards as a prerequisite for getting truthful, objective and credible results of the evaluation.
“The ideal solution would be to create a global sports governance foundation which would have its own multi-stakeholder board of advisors, a proper board of directors and independent funding. This foundation could work globally for all: on the one hand finance the creation and evolution of a rating model and then either outsource the rating to “Standard Ethics” or create a specialised rating structure of its own,” Jensen concludes.
“At the same time, the foundation could offer grants to sports organisations that are willing to voluntarily solicit their rating (which would remove the argument that smaller organisations could not afford it) and to governments or sports governing bodies who commission unsolicited rating,” he adds.
Governance in the world of football – a salient issue
Although PACE delegates are set to discuss good governance in the whole of sport, special attention will be directed at governance in the context of football.
Anne Brasseur’s report presents a number of proposals on how to improve football governance in FIFA, UEFA, the member associations and at club level.
Firstly, it says it is necessary to include in the FIFA and UEFA Statutes an explicit rule prohibiting a member of a government from involvement in their decision-making bodies in order to avoid undue political influence over decisions by sports organisations.
Secondly, to ensure the independence of supervisory boards, an independent international observatory should be established to introduce mechanisms to monitor aspects of the governance of football organisations and other sports bodies by placing the emphasis on, amongst other things, ethics and the integrity of elections.
Brasseur commends FIFA for UEFA having adopted recently a series of measures to protect human rights, protection of minors and gender equality in football. However, she insists that the new measures are in fact implemented, and to introduce effective oversight of how host countries of major football events will comply with the obligations.
She proposes, among other things, that FIFA and UEFA be asked to:
“Insist with the governments of the host country on the necessity of protecting fundamental civil and political rights, and in particular the freedom of expression – including the freedom of the media – and the freedom of peaceful meeting, and not only in connection beyond the international events.”
“Ensure that all the cases of serious breaches of human rights, including the rights of the workers, by private companies involved in the organisation of their competitions are made public and that effective penalties are applied when the follow up measures recommended by supervisory bodies are not implemented.”
The Parliamentary Assembly will debate the outcome of the reports by Mogens Jensen and Anne Brasseur on January 24, and is expected to adopt final resolutions on Sports Governance and on Governance in Football. Only time will then tell if the sports organisations and the governments of the 47 Council of Europe member states will listen and take action.
Source: Mads A. Wickstrøm, 17 January 2018, Play The Game
Council of Europe
FIFA and the Council of Europe establish a strong partnership: MoU on human rights, good governance, anti-doping, anti-violence, anti-match-fixing
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland met today in Strasbourg to discuss how to better promote human rights in sports. The meeting followed an exchange of views between the FIFA President and the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.
Secretary General Jagland and FIFA President Infantino underlined the importance of the Council of Europe’s sports conventions in protecting human rights in sport – in particular the anti-doping convention, the match-fixing convention and the recent convention on safety, security and service at football matches.
“It seems clear to me that FIFA and the Council of Europe share many common goals. Good governance, respect for human rights and a resolute stance against doping, match-fixing and violence are a top priority for world football’s governing body,” said Mr Infantino.
Mr Jagland said: “Our sports conventions reach beyond Europe and many other countries have expressed interest in joining them. Closer cooperation with FIFA will help to promote respect for human rights in sports both in Europe and worldwide. I am also pleased that FIFA wants to work with us on the subject of governance. The role of sports in our society -– for example, in boosting integration – cannot be underestimated. Good governance will help ensuring that the benefits of sport can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Secretary General Jagland and FIFA President Infantino agreed to start working on a Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and the Council of Europe, which should set out in detail the areas of cooperation between the two organisations. The aim is to have the Memorandum of Understanding ready for signature by the end of 2018.
Source: 10 January 2018, FIFA
Minerva Punjab claim two of their players were approached for fixing, report to AIFF and AFC
Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj has claimed that two of his players were approached with monetary offers for match-fixing and has notified the authorities of the same.
Bajaj has reported the approach to the All India Football Federation’s Integrity Officer Javed Siraj and to the Asian Football Confederation through their integrity app.
The North Indian club, based in Chandigarh, currently leads the I-League with 22 points from their 9 games and are three points ahead of second placed East Bengal with a game in hand.
Bajaj refused to reveal the identity of the two players who were approached but hoped that this problem would be solved soon. “We need to be ultra careful now that the cat’s out of the bag. It has arrived in our country; the curse of horrible people trying to ruin our beautiful game with the immediate lure of easy big money. I really hope no match officials or players fall in this trap.”
Source: 18 January 2018, Scroll.inn
ODDS AND ENDS
Muay Thai boxer brutalised after alleged match-fixing
A Muay Thai boxer has complained that following a knockout, he was accused of match-fixing, physically assaulted and held against his will at his boxing camp.
Nattawut Thorniyomsuk said on his Facebook page that he was kicked in the mouth, caned 20 times with rattan sticks and detained for three days. The boxer from the Sor Jor Lek Muangnon camp in Nonthaburi province fought in a featherweight bout at the Siam Boxing Stadium in Samut Sakhon province on Jan 6. He was knocked out in the third round.
Nattawut described the assault in a video clip he posted on Facebook, and displayed pictures showing what appeared to be red welts on his back. Media reported he fled his camp and filed a complaint with police, accusing boxing camp supervisor Narong Dolsing of the physical assault. Mr Narong reportedly admitted to the physical assault but denied the alleged detention. He said he would answer the charge on Tuesday.
Source: Online Reporters, 14 January 2018, Bangkok Post
- Anti-Corruption Anti-Doping Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Australia Austria Bangladesh Council of Europe Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Cricket Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Football India International Cricket Council (ICC) INTERPOL Japan Kayaking Malta Match Fixing Muay Thai Regulations of the UEFA Champions League Thailand UEFA Zimbabwe