Update on anti-corruption efforts in football, cricket & rugby: ACSU, IPL, NZRU, FA, FIFPro

Friday, 11 April 2014

This week's recap features the arrest of 13 players from Football League clubs in England allegedly involved in match-fixing. Six of the footballers arrested had originally been held in December last year under suspicion of involvement in acts of bribery and money laundering, but were later bailed. The investigation is being led by The National Crime Agency (NCA) and all 13 individuals are being interviewed by local police.

Current investigation


Betting and match-fixing have long been hot topics of discussion in cricketing circles and among fans, but for the first time a report of the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has revealed how players are approached and trapped by these networks. The confidential report hints that some matches of the 2011 World Cup, which Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men won on home turf, and the fourth season of the Indian Premier League, which followed soon after, were not clean. A total of 470 matches and more than 200 practice sessions were covered by the ACSU to compile the report. The mastermind of this illegal network is known only as SB, and was first observed and tagged by ACSU in early 2010. His activities have been closely followed. SB and his associates - codenamed AZ and BRY - were found making several attempts to approach players, who were advised by ACSU to stay clear of these individuals. To keep its investigation strictly confidential, the ACSU hid the real identities of these bookies even from the ICC Board. There are several such bookies on the radar of the cricketing police and the ACSU believes these men were only the tip of the iceberg.

Source: "Confidential ICC report claims some 2011 Cricket World Cup matches were fixed ", 31 March 2014, Daily Mail


Dhoni is attempting to gag the media from reporting the IPL betting and match fixing scam, Zee television network alleged, adding that the cricket India captain had not yet been given clean chit by the Mudgal committee, which has recommended an independent and full-fledged probe into the issue. Responding to Dhoni's Rs 100-crore defamation suit in the Madras high court on Wednesday, the channel said it merely reported suspended IPS officer G Sampath Kumar's deposition to the committee. Denying that it deliberately attempted to malign Dhoni, Zee said the cricket captain was attempting to gag media from discussing an issue of national and public importance. It, however, said Zee never said Dhoni was aware of fixing matches, that he was a participant in fixing matches, that he was shielding persons linked to such activities and that his wife was involved in murky dealings with Vindoo Dara Singh. Despite several bids, there was no response from both Dhoni and the Chennai police, zee said. The matter is expected to be taken up for further hearing next week. Zee's counter also said that Mudgal committee raised serious questions on the investigation conducted by the crime branch CID of Chennai police.

Source: A Subramani, "Dhoni attempting to gag media, Zee tells Madras high court", 2 April 2014, Times of India


With multiple inquiries into match fixing and illegal betting it’s easy to lose track of the investigations currently going on into cricket in India. India Real Time spoke to Anish Dayal, a lawyer for the Rajasthan Royals, one of two teams responding to a Supreme Court inquiry in the case, about where things stand. [...] Anish Dayal: The Supreme Court has not restricted or prohibited any player or team from taking part in the IPL 2014. The court appointed an independent committee to look into allegations that some persons associated with two teams, the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, were involved in illegal betting on matches in the IPL. On March 28, the top court issued an order saying, among other things, that “all those who love cricket continue to watch cricket in IPL 2014 and the matches are played by the players in accordance with IPL rules.” “We make it clear that we have not passed any order preventing any player or any team from participating in the IPL Tournament 2014,” the order added.

Source: "Quick Guide: The Supreme Court Investigation into Cricket", 2 April 2014, The Wall Street Journal https://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/04/02/quick-guide-to-the-supreme-court-and-the-bcci/

New Zealand

Embattled former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns has been interviewed by Scotland Yard and confirmed last night that investigators have returned to the United Kingdom. Cairns, who has been at the centre of match-fixing allegations since they were raised late last year, told Fairfax Media he was unable to elaborate on his discussions with British metropolitan police. Since his name was first linked to an International Cricket Council (ICC) corruption investigation, Cairns has strongly maintained his innocence while protesting he has been kept in the dark about the exact nature of the allegations. After meeting with police representatives in Auckland this week, Cairns is likely to now at least know the extent of the claims but would not comment when asked about them. However, his trademark defiant position doesn't appear to have changed since the interview. Cairns also confirmed he was prepared to meet with officials from the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit once British police have completed their inquiries. In December last year, Cairns and fellow former New Zealand team-mates, Daryl Tuffey and Lou Vincent, were first linked in media reports to an ICC investigation into allegations of match-fixing.

Source: Aaron Lawton and Sarah Harvey, "Chris Cairns gets questioned by British police", 5 April 2014, Fairfax NZ News https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/9906105/Chris-Cairns-gets-questioned-by-British-police/

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