INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 7 August 2018 - 20 August 2018

In Asia, the International Cricket Council (ICC) identified all individuals featured in the undercover Al Jazeera match-fixing documentary and are now requesting unedited footage from the broadcaster in order to move forward with their investigation. In Africa, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned another referee for life and six other officials received 10-year suspensions following the undercover camera footage from a Ghanaian journalist.

With regards to widespread corruption, bribery and match-fixing at all levels of the Ghana Football Federation (FA), the Government of Ghana would like to dissolve the Ghana FA, whereas Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) threatens to give an international ban for government interference. Further discussions are needed to find a balance between fighting criminal behaviour per Ghana’s laws and respecting FIFA's laws dealing with interference in the running of football.

In the meantime, FIFA rejected an appeal lodged by former El Salvador head coach against the two-year ban given for failing to report a match-fixing attempt. Recently, FIFA eliminated the term “corruption” from its code of ethics.

In terms of sanctions and sentences, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) reported that a Chinese tennis player has been disciplined for breaching the anti-corruption code by attempting to change her doubles partner after the sign-in deadline. In connection with this case, her French tennis coach was also suspended from obtaining tournament credentials for three months. Moreover, TIU reported that a German player have been suspended for eight months and fined $7,000 after being found guilty to have placed 280 bets on tennis matches between 2012 and 2015. In addition, an Australian tennis player has been sentenced to 220 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty of fixing a Victorian tennis match and supplying drugs to players. Following a 16-month investigation, Pakistan banned a former test opener for 10 years on multiple charges of spot fixing. Basketball New Zealand referred a case of suspected match-fixing to the police following irregular betting patterns on national basketball.

Thousands of raids have been undertaken and suspects arrested in an INTERPOL-led operation against illegal gambling conducted throughout Asia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Operation SOGA VII (short for soccer gambling) saw more than 14,900 raids at illegal gambling dens across China – including Hong Kong and Macao – Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, which were estimated to have handled some USD 1.6 billion worth of bets. To date, the combined seven SOGA operations have resulted in more than 30,000 arrests, the seizure of some USD 57 million in cash and the closure of more than 3,700 illegal gambling dens which handled almost USD 8 billion worth of bets.

We note with interest that Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics to use facial recognition technology to increase security around all venues. More than 300,000 athletes and Games staff will have to submit photographs to a database before the Olympics start in July 2020. Also in terms of security, the Council of Europe (COE) affirmed the importance of the coordination meeting held in Doha to activate the bilateral agreement of technical cooperation between Qatar and COE under the Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events (CETS No. 218 <https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/rms/0900001680666d0b>).

Also in Japan, the sport of kendo was hit by a corruption scandal, with the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) saying that individuals taking promotional exams often paid money to their examiners in order to win their approval. The committee that received the complaint has asked the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) and the Japan Sport Association (JSA) to look into the matter.

Lastly, we would like to share with our readership the Report <https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/63F0A5D7BDA5A0B5CA2582CF0005E6F9/$File/HEALTH-RASIA-Report-Acc.pdf> of the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements.

We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on aMonday, 3 September 2018.

INVESTIGATIONS

International Cricket Council (ICC)

ICC demands full match-fixing footage from Al Jazeera documentary

Anti-corruption detectives have identified all the players and individuals who were featured in the recent undercover match-fixing documentary by Al Jazeera but will not be able to take the case further until the broadcaster hands over all its unedited footage.

It appears some of the claims in the programme were boastful but it is too early to state categorically whether offences were committed.

The programme alleged a Test involving England and India in Chennai in December 2016 was corrupt. The players the programme alleged were involved in fixing were not named.

The ICC will speak to those players to find out if they had heard of the individuals making the allegations but a formal investigation is not possible until Al Jazeera hands over unedited footage.

A previous sting by an Indian newspaper implicated the groundsman in Pune. He allegedly said he could prepare a pitch for a one-day international between India and New Zealand that would suit the visiting team’s attack. The unedited footage later exonerated him of fixing but he was suspended for failing to report the approach.

The ICC has identified everyone appearing in the programme, including those who were pixilated to protect their identity, but the main fixer who claimed to work for organised crime gang D Company, Aneel Munawar, has vanished.

We need to see the full picture of what was clearly an extensive investigation that extends beyond a 40-minute programme and fully understand the context of all conversations,” said Alex Marshall, the ICC’s head of anti-corruption. “We will continue to speak with anyone who may be able to help or has a connection with the programme, but they will only be treated as suspects if there is proper grounds to do so.

Source: Nick Hoult, 7 August 2018, Telegraph

Cricket

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2018/08/07/icc-demands-full-match-fixing-footage-al-jazeera-documentary/

Kenya

Gor Mahia now moves to deny match fixing scandal after Bandari defeat

Defeat to Bandari has left the "Green Army" asking questions, especially the character and history of the goalkeeper trainer

Gor Mahia has denied allegations by a section of club fans that they could be involved in match-fixing scandal. Gor Mahia goalkeeping department has come under scrutiny even as the past threatens to catch up with Willis Ochieng, the team’s goalkeeper trainer.

Ochieng’ was mentioned in a match-fixing scandal saga in 2011 after he allegedly received Sh6 million to slip in two goals in the Finish Football League in 2008. Ochieng, who was turning out for IFK Mariehamn, was exposed by the club manager Peter Mattson, who revealed that the custodian was suspected to have pocketed $70,500 (Sh6m) in bribes in connection with two away games the club lost in 2008.

Gor Mahia's goalkeeping department has come under question at the rate at which they concede "cheap goals". Boniface Oluoch conceded two quick goals in a 3-2 victory against Yanga in the Caf Confederation Cup and Shaban Odhoji also made almost a similar blunder to allow Nakumatt come back into the game and force a 2-2 draw with the league leaders. But it was K’Ogalo’s lose to Bandari that left the "Green Army" asking tough questions, especially the character and history of the goalkeeper trainer. The club has since come out to defend the embattled Ochieng, more so after he had a confrontation with Coach Dylan Kerr in Mombasa.

Our playing unit including the technical bench as currently constitute from defence, striking, goalkeeping to midfield is one of the best with high technical expertise geared towards delivering the best-desired results,” said Gor Mahia Secretary General Ben Omondi in a statement obtained by Goal .

The incident between the coach and goalkeeper trainer was an unfortunate occurrence. In my view the bench did not know how to handle the pressure of losing that match, they are human.

Kerr and Ochieng allegedly exchanged blows at Mbaraki Stadium though Goal could not independently verify the main course of the conflict between the two members of the technical bench.

Source: Elvince Joshua, 10 August 2018, Goal

Football

https://www.goal.com/en-ke/news/gor-mahia-now-moves-to-deny-match-fixing-scandal-after/pf5cwwz20ue91am6wkj3g1zym

New Zealand

Basketball: Dodgy NBL betting referred to NZ Police

Basketball New Zealand have referred a case of suspected NBL match-fixing to the NZ Police.

That referral comes after a TAB investigation into irregular betting on the national basketball completed over the just-completed season.

While none of those organisations are specifying which games might be affected, speculation centres on a Supercity Rangers vs Taranaki Mountainairs clash, where the Rangers called a timeout with six seconds remaining to engineer a three-point attempt to pad an already healthy lead.

American Clayton Wilson hit the long-range shot that pushed the outcome beyond 11 points - a key differential in basketball betting.

"Basketball New Zealand was recently advised of allegations of inappropriate betting activities to a National Basketball League game," says BBNZ chief executive Iain Potter. "It is imperative that the integrity of our sport be protected.

"Basketball NZ and the NZ NBL board take these allegations very seriously. We have referred the allegations to the New Zealand Police and they have decided to pursue this further, which we welcome."

Under BBNZ internal regulations and Sport NZ integrity rules, participants are unable to bet on NBL games.

Source: 7 August 2018, NewsHub

Basketball

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport/2018/08/basketball-dodgy-nbl-betting-referred-to-nz-police.html

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Australia

Former Aussie Player Isaac Frost Sentenced 220 Hours of Community Service

Tennis - Isaac Frost, an Australian tennis player ranked as high as No. 458 in singles in the world back in 2012 and No. 651 in doubles in 2011, has been sentenced to 220 hours of community service in the Brisbane Magsitrates Court on Thursday, after he pleaded guilty to fixing a Victorian tennis match and supplying drugs to friends.

Frost was charged after he pleaded guilty to conspiring with fellow Australian tennis player Olivier Anderson to fix a match at an ATP Challenger event in Victoria in 2016. Anderson was competing in the tennis match while Frost was said to faciliate the match-fixing. Frost had also supplied Anderson with cannabis, according to the Magistrate.

Magistrate Anthony Gett said that the actions of Frost "imperilled the ability of bet agencies to run a fair betting arrangement. Bona fide gamblers were deprived of the opportunity of betting on a bona fide tennis match. [They then] met in Victoria to discuss further arrangements and an agreement was reached that Anderson would lose the first set of the match in Traralgon if the draw was favourable."

Frost was also found guilty of possessing cocaine and supplying drugs including Ritalin and Oxicon to some players. He last played on the professional tour in 2016 and has been working as a coach since then. He won 1 Futures singles title and 2 Futures doubles title during his career. Frost admitted that the case has damaged his career as a coach.

Source: PRAKASH, 19 August 2018, Tennis World USA

Tennis

https://www.tennisworldusa.org/tennis/news/Tennis_Stories/59108/former-aussie-player-isaac-frost-sentenced-220-hours-of-community-service/

China

Peng Shuai disciplined for breach of Tennis Anti-Corruption Program

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has been disciplined for breaching the sport’s anti-corruption code by attempting to change her doubles partner after sign-in deadline.

Peng Shuai was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the ladies doubles event at Wimbledon 2017.

Although the offer was refused and Peng Shuai did not subsequently compete at The Championships, the offer constituted a breach of Section D.1.d of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) which states that: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard H. McLaren considered the case at a Hearing held in London on 16 July 2018, following an investigation by the TIU.

Today’s decision from Prof McLaren imposes a six months ban, with three months suspended, and $10,000 fine, with $5,000 suspended, on condition that no further breaches of the TACP are committed.

The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that the player cannot compete in or attend any event organised, sanctioned or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.

Assuming no further breaches of the TACP are committed, Peng Shuai will be eligible to play again on 8 November 2018.

The 32-year old is currently ranked 20 in doubles and 80 in singles. She was the number one ranked doubles player in February 2014 and has a career-best singles ranking of 14 achieved in August 2011.

In a companion ruling Prof McLaren imposed a three months period of suspension of credentials on the player’s former French coach, Bertrand Perret.

Source: 8 August 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/peng-shuai-disciplined-breach-tennis-anti-corruption-program

France

Tennis coach Bertrand Perret disciplined for breach of Tennis Anti-Corruption Program

Mr Perret suspended from obtaining tournament credentials for three months, with immediate effect

French tennis coach Bertrand Perret has been disciplined for breaching the sport’s anti-corruption code by attempting to change the doubles partner of his former client, Peng Shuai, after the sign-in deadline.

Mr Perret was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for Peng Shuai’s main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the ladies doubles at Wimbledon 2017.

Although the offer was refused and Peng Shuai did not subsequently compete at The Championships, the offer constituted a breach of Section D.1.d of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) which states that: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard H. McLaren considered the case at a Hearing held in London on 16 July 2018, following an investigation by the TIU.

Today’s decision from Prof McLaren imposes a three months suspension of credentials on Mr Perret, who as a tennis coach is a Covered Person under the TACP. With immediate effect, the ruling will prevent him for attending or coaching at any event organised, sanctioned or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.

Assuming no further breaches of the TACP are committed, he will be eligible to resume attending tournaments on 8 November 2018.

In a companion ruling Prof McLaren imposed a six months ban, with three months suspended, and $10,000 fine, with $5,000 suspended, on Peng Shuai, who worked with Mr Perret between November 2016 and January 2018.

Source: 8 August 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/tennis-coach-bertrand-perret-disciplined-breach-tennis-anti-corruption-program

Germany

Luca Gelhardt suspended and fined for betting on tennis

1065 ranked German player found to have placed 280 bets on tennis matches between 2012 and 2015.

German tennis player Luca Gelhardt has been suspended for eight months and fined $7,000 after being found guilty of betting on tennis matches.

Half of the suspension (four months) and half of the fine ($3,500) are suspended on provision that no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) are committed prior to 16 April 2019.

On that basis, Mr Gelhardt is immediately prohibited from playing in or attending any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport. Assuming no further disciplinary violations are incurred, he will be eligible to compete again from 16 December 2018.

A Tennis Integrity Unit investigation found that the player placed a total of 280 bets on tennis matches through three online gambling accounts between December 2012 and November 2015. None of the wagers involved matches in which he played and none were linked to any other corruption offence.

Under the provisions of the TACP, all Covered Persons are explicitly prohibited from any form of betting on tennis.

The case against Mr Gelhardt was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Charles Hollander QC.

The 23-year old player is currently ranked 1065 in singles and reached a career-high of 848 in March 2018.

The relevant section of the TACP governing betting on tennis is as follows:

Section D.1.a: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition.

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

Source: 17 August 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/luca-gelhardt-suspended-and-fined-betting-tennis

Ghana

CAF continues its crack down on Ghana’s match-fixing refs with 7 more bans

August 8 – In yet another crackdown on corruption, seven referees and linesmen from Ghana have been handed lengthy bans by the Confederation of African Football after being caught up in a bribery sting.

Referee David Laryea was banned for life and six other officials received 10-year suspensions.

Hidden camera footage from undercover Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released in June laid bare a culture of corruption in African football and CAF announced on its website that Laryea had been banned for life after he was filmed accepting money to influence the outcome of matches.

Those who received 10-year bans were named as Lathbridge Reginald, Nantierre Eric, Fleischer Cecil, Ouedraogo Dawood, Salifu Malik, Ms Akongyam Theresa and Wellington Joseph, a Technical Instructor – all from Ghana.

Fourteen more referees and linesmen from across Africa were suspended pending their appearance in front of the CAF disciplinary board.

Last month 11 officials were sanctioned over the same scandal by CAF which continues to try to get to grips with widespread match-fixing allegations. Those sanctioned then included Kenya’s Aden Range Marwa, who was initially supposed to officiate at the World Cup in Russia.

In Ghana the revelations brought down Kwesi Nyantakyi, the second most important figure in African football, and led the government to shut down the country’s football authorities.

Source: Andrew Warshaw, 10 August 2018, Inside World Football

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2018/08/08/caf-continues-crack-ghanas-match-fixing-refs-7-bans/

Pakistan

Pakistan opener banned for 10 years for match-fixing

Islamabad - Pakistan banned former Test opener Nasir Jamshed for 10 years on Friday on multiple charges of spot fixing, wrapping up a 16-month investigation into a wide-ranging scandal that rocked the Pakistan Super League.

Jamshed, 28, is the sixth player to be banned following the scandal that tainted the Twenty20 tournament in only its second year, and was described by cricket authorities as its lynchpin.

"Today's decision against Jamshed wraps up the fixing saga and the tribunal has banned him for ten years on multiple charges," said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi in footage shared by the PCB on Twitter.

Spot-fixing refers to illegal activity in a sport where a specific part of a game is fixed, unlike match-fixing, where the whole result is fixed.

Jamshed was first banned for 12 months in December last year after he was found guilty of non-cooperation with the tribunal investigating allegations of spot-fixing.

This year, he faced five further charges related to fixing, all of which were proven said Rizvi, who said it was "a matter of sadness that another player has spoiled his career."

Swashbuckling opener Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Nasir Jamshed have also been given bans of varying lengths.

Regarded as a talented left-hander, Jamshed played two Tests, 48 one-day and 18 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan. He hit three consecutive one-day hundreds against India in 2012.

His career nosedived during the 2015 World Cup where he was found overweight and mocked at during fielding, managing just five runs in three matches.

Jamshed and his lawyer Hasan Warraich had rejected the charges.

Rizvi said Jamshed will not be allowed to hold any office even after the ban expires.

"His name will be put on the list of avoided people," he said.

Source: 17 August 2018, Sport24 Cricket

https://www.sport24.co.za/Cricket/pakistan-cricketer-banned-for-10-years-20180817

BETTING

2018 FIFA World Cup

Illegal gambling: raids and arrests across Asia in INTERPOL operation

LYON, France – Thousands of raids have been undertaken and suspects arrested in an INTERPOL-led operation against illegal gambling conducted throughout Asia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Operation SOGA VII (short for soccer gambling) saw more than 14,900 raids at illegal gambling dens across China – including Hong Kong and Macao – Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, which were estimated to have handled some USD 1.6 billion worth of bets.

Coordinated by INTERPOL’s Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate, the operation targeted the organized crime networks behind illegal gambling in the region. With 242 arrests in Hong Kong alone, additional information relating to arrests and prosecutions will be available to global police authorities as ongoing investigations unfold.

During the month-long (22 June – 16 July) operation police seized more than USD 1.7 million in cash, as well as 1,000 computers and mobile phones which are being analyzed to support ongoing investigations.

In Macao, police received intelligence that a criminal network had set up an illegal gambling ring targeting betters in mainland China. A total of 16 individuals – including the suspected ringleader – were arrested in both jurisdictions following raids at residential buildings and casinos, and police seized vehicles, cash, computers, mobile phones and accounting books.

With the Hong Kong Police Force alone seizing betting slips worth USD 16,8 million, Operation SOGA VII owes its success largely to the power of global and regional police cooperation through INTERPOL,” said Chief Superintendent Tat-Shing Man of Hong Kong’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau.

Participating jurisdictions made the most of our solid collective experience of six previous SOGA operations which enabled us to clearly anticipate links between Asian betting syndicates and their illegal counterparts operating beyond Asia’s borders during the World Cup,” added Mr Man, who also serves as Chairman of INTERPOL’s Asia-Pacific Expert Group on Organized Crime.

With Operation SOGA VII highlighting a clear shift from physical betting operations to online betting services, INTERPOL’s Director of Organized and Emerging Crime, Paul Stanfield, underscored how illegal gambling generates huge profits for organized criminal networks which are often linked to other serious crimes.

Such online platforms have brought an international dimension to the phenomenon and are often located in jurisdictions with few regulations on sports betting, presenting additional challenges for police. A coordinated international response is necessary to tackle this type of crime, especially as it moves from gambling dens to Internet-based illegal betting operations,” said Mr Stanfield.

To date, the combined seven SOGA operations have resulted in more than 30,000 arrests, the seizure of some USD 57 million in cash and the closure of more than 3,700 illegal gambling dens which handled almost USD 8 billion worth of bets.

Source: 17 August 2018, INTERPOL

https://www.interpol.int/en/News-and-media/News/2018/N2018-084

GOOD PRACTICES

Australia

REPORT OF THE REVIEW OF AUSTRALIA’S SPORTS INTEGRITY ARRANGEMENTS

The Government welcomes the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements (the Review) – the most comprehensive analysis of Australia’s sports integrity arrangements ever undertaken. The Review found that Australia is a world leader in the sports integrity field, and has an international reputation as a strong advocate for effective integrity protections. However, the Review also found that there is a rapidly evolving threat environment that Australia must position itself to address.

Source: 7 August 2018, Australian Government - Department of Health

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/63F0A5D7BDA5A0B5CA2582CF0005E6F9/$File/HEALTH-RASIA-Report-Acc.pdf

Japan

Tokyo 2020 to up security with facial recognition system

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics to use facial recognition technology to increase security around all venues, the organizers announced on Tuesday.

Games organizers have linked up with Japanese telecommunications and information technology giant NEC to develop the first system of this kind to be implemented at an Olympics.

The technology, which was demonstrated to the media at an event in the Japanese capital, will use IC chips within identification cards to automatically verify the identity of those entering over 40 venues.

More than 300,000 athletes and Games staff will have to submit photographs to a database before the Olympics start in July 2020.

Every time they enter the facility, they have to do a security check,” explained Tokyo 2020’s head of security Tsuyoshi Iwashita.

Tokyo’s venues doesn’t always have enough space for the security check or even space to wait for the security check. When the events are happening, we expect many people to come and the weather will be very hot. This is why we introduced this facial recognition.

The system will not be aimed at spectators and will instead concentrate on strengthening security and decreasing waiting times for athletes.

More than 40 facilities, including the main stadium, International Broadcast Centre, the Olympic village and so on, will have the facial recognition system,” said NEC Senior Vice President Masaaki Suganuma.

Athletes, Games staff, volunteers and the media will have this recognition.

NEC said they tested the technology during the Rio 2016 Olympics and that the technology has already been implemented in various locations, including airports.

During the demonstration to media, the technology correctly identified a string of people, including those in wheelchairs and of varying heights, which is a key feature of NEC’s system.

Suanuma said: “99.7 percent of the time, the face is recognized by the system correctly.

“This number will not change according to nationality or if big or small.

Source: Jack Tarrant, 7 August 2018, Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2020-facial-recognition/tokyo-2020-to-up-security-with-facial-recognition-system-idUSKBN1KS0B5

Qatar

Qatar, Council of Europe activate pact to support standards of security in football

The Council of Europe has affirmed the importance of the first coordination meeting held in Doha to activate the bilateral agreement (2018-2020) between the State of Qatar and the Council under the European convention on safety, security and integrated service in football matches and other sports events known as "St Denis Convention".

The Council of Europe’s Head of Sports Conventions Division Sergey Khrychikov said that this meeting will give the State of Qatar a global rating in the security and safety operations, which contributes to the organisation of a safe World Cup during the next edition to be hosted by Doha in 2022, pointing out that the State of Qatar is to join St Denis Convention, two years after the start of the implementation of the partnership program with the Council, in order to become an active member of the Convention, QNA has reported.

In a statement on the sidelines of the meeting, Khrychikov said that the State of Qatar will benefit greatly from joining the Convention through the experience it will gain by creating partnerships with global players that have a legacy in organising major sporting events, especially as the Convention aims to combat violence and misconduct within stadiums and ensure Public safety.

He said the meeting discussed many issues related to the Council of Europe’s agreements on sports activity with particular emphasis on football. He said all 48 members of the Council of Europe respect the Council’s agreements and seek to implement them. He noted Qatar has become an observer member of the European convention on public violence and it has started the process to join the Council of Europe’s convention on security, safety and integrated services for major sporting events, especially football, which is an extension of the convention on public violence, which is expected to replace it by the end of the year, as it entered into force in mid-2018.

He said the Council has partnerships with FIFA, UEFA, Interpol and Europol to achieve the highest standards of safety and security. He noted in the same context that the Council has partnerships with countries hosting major sporting events, where the Council contributed many recommendations to the Organizing Committee of the World Cup Russia contributed to the highest standards of security and safety during the hosting of the 2018 World Cup.

The first coordination meeting was held at the headquarters of Security Committee at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) to activate the bilateral agreement (2018-2020) between the State of Qatar and the Council of Europe in the presence of the Delegation of the Council of Europe and representatives of SC, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), Qatar Football Association (QFA), where a presentation was made of the partnership framework, which also targets all the Council of Europe conventions related to sports, such as the convention on public violence, in which Qatar has already become an observer member and the anti-doping and game-manipulation conventions.

In late March, Qatar signed a bilateral agreement (2018-2020) for technical cooperation with the Council of Europe in the framework of the European convention on safety, security and integrated service in football and other sports activities (Charter of Signatures and Ratifications of Treaties No. 218) known as "St Denis Convention".

The agreement came after the adoption of Qatar as an observer member of the Council of Europe, as the first Arab country in this Council, which consists of 48 members at the level of foreign ministers.

Source: 16 August 2018, Doha Insight

https://www.dohainsight.com/story-z9335160

ODDS AND ENDS

Ghana

Gov’t Calls For Dialogue With FIFA Over Suspension Threat

The Government of Ghana has called for further discussions with world football governing body, FIFA, in response to FIFA's threat over a ban if a petition to dissolve is not withdrawn.

FIFA sent a letter to Ghana on Tuesday asking that the petition to be taken out of court by August 27 or an international ban will be handed to Ghana for government interference.

Government’s petition to the High Court court to dissolve the Ghana FA was a major fallout from the Anas Aremeyaw Anas documentary on corruption in Ghana football.

The government, in its response to FIFA, said that further discussions are needed to find a balance between fighting criminal behaviour per Ghana’s laws and respecting FIFA's laws dealing with interference in the running of football in each of its member states.

In a letter signed by Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah, the government said that:

… Given the nature of the empirical and overwhelming nature of the evidence of widespread corruption, bribery, match-fixing and other forms of illegality at all levels of the Ghana FA, the Government of Ghana was left with no choice than to enforce the domestic laws of Ghana to bring the operations of the Ghana FA to a halt…

"Ghana recognises the mandate of FIFA to administer football globally. Government of Ghana is not interested in interfering with the administration of football in Ghana.

"It is our understanding that FIFA remains committed to purging football administration in Ghana of corruption and related criminal conduct, which objective is in accord with that of the Government of Ghana.

It is unclear what FIFA’s response will be to Ghana’s demands of a meeting but the country’s letter hints of a possible urge to avoid a ban since that will affect the Black Stars as they are scheduled to play against Kenya in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers in September.

In addition, the nation’s women’s U-17 team, the Black Maidens, are to travel to Uruguay for the U-17 World Cup in November.

Source: 15 August 2018, Modern Ghana

Football

https://www.modernghana.com/sports/875976/govt-calls-for-dialogue-with-fifa-over-suspension-threat.html

MATCH FIXING

El Salvador

Match-fixing: FIFA rejects El Salvador’s Maradiaga appeal against 2-year ban

August 10 – FIFA has rejected an appeal lodged by former El Salvador head coach Ramon Maradiaga against the two-year ban handed down for allegedly failing to report a match-fixing attempt.

In a statement FIFA said that its appeals committee “after analysing and taking into consideration all circumstances of the case, considered that Mr Maradiaga’s conduct constituted a violation of art. 21 (Bribery & corruption) and art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting) of the 2012 FIFA Code of Ethics.

The Appeal Committee found that the two-year ban from all football-related activities, as well as the fine imposed against Mr Maradiaga in the amount of CHF 20,000, as ruled by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, was adequate in this case.

In May when issuing its original verdict, FIFA said Maradiaga, a Honduran who played for his country in the 1982 World Cup, had “allowed and failed to report” a meeting in which a third party offered the players “financial compensation” in exchange for fixing the result.

The suspension related to events before a World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and Canada in September 2016.

El Salvador were bottom of their four-team group and had already been eliminated for places at this summer’s finals in Russia. They lost the match 3-1 but a heavier defeat could have potentially allowed Canada to finish above Honduras and progress to the next stage of Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying competition on goal difference. In the end Canada failed to progress after Honduras drew 0-0 away to Mexico.

In 2013, El Salvador banned 14 international players for life for match-fixing, including some of their best-known and most experienced names and once again the country has become embroiled in corrupt practises.

Source: Andrew Warshaw, 10 August 2018, Inside World Football

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2018/08/10/match-fixing-fifa-rejects-el-salvadors-maradiaga-appeal-2-year-ban/

CORRUPTION

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

Corruption? What corruption? FIFA deletes any mention from new code of ethics

Despite years of impropriety, FIFA — soccer’s international governing body — has eliminated the term “corruption” from its code of ethics.

World soccer officials have long been accused of taking bribes, diverting funds and match-fixing. The most prominent pair — former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former vice president Jack Warner — were investigated by the ethics committee before being removed from the organization. Warner was subsequently banned for life and faces extradition to the United States on a variety of criminal charges.

After persistent claims of corruption and mismanagement, the ethics committee removed Blatter from his post in 2015. Warner was suspended by the committee in 2011; about a month later, FIFA announced his resignation from all his posts within the organization.

That same committee has now watered down punishments for malfeasance.

The previous edition of the code of ethics, adopted in 2012, referred to “bribery and corruption” and noted that while other offenses face a 10-year statute of limitations, “Prosecution for bribery and corruption is not subject to such a limitation period.

But the 2018 edition identifies specifically “betting, gambling or similar activities” and “bribery, misappropriation of funds and match manipulation.

FIFA vowed a corruption crackdown after the Department of Justice indicted more than a dozen world soccer officials — including Warner — in 2015 on charges that included wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

But malfeasance persists in the organization. In May, FIFA banned the former Salvadoran national team coach for life for attempting to talk his club into throwing a 2016 match against Canada. It banned the former general secretary of the Guatemalan Football Association for life for awarding media rights contracts to certain companies in exchange for personal kickbacks.

The new code of ethics seems to walk back steps taken in that crackdown. The changes may seem semantic, but wholesale alterations appear in how such offenses are punished. Now, the 10-year statute of limitations applies to these violations as well.

And under a new rule, “defamation,” violators can be banned from the sport for up to five years.

Persons bound by this Code are forbidden from making any public statements of a defamatory nature towards FIFA and/or towards any other person bound by this Code in the context of FIFA events,” according to article 22.2.

Source: Jacob Bogage, 14 August 2018, The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/08/14/corruption-what-corruption-fifa-deletes-any-mention-from-new-code-of-ethics/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.22249db6c5bc

Japan

Japan’s kendo federation reveals widespread corruption in promotion system

The sport of kendo has been hit by its own corruption scandal, with the All Japan Kendo Federation saying Friday that people taking promotional exams often paid money to their examiners in order to win their approval.

The federation said it discovered a case of a person paying a total of ¥1 million to seven examiners of iaid, a type of martial art based on the drawing of a sword, and another case in which someone paid ¥2 million to examiners through an instructor in 2016. Neither of them passed the exams.

The revelation comes after a man recently filed a complaint with a committee of the Cabinet Office, alleging he was asked by multiple examiners to pay a total of ¥6.5 million ($59,000) in cash when he was taking an exam in 2012, a source said. The federation said it was unable to obtain evidence supporting the man’s claim through its own probe.

Yukimichi Nakatani, executive director of the federation, said he considers the corruption a “serious issue.

This is something that should not have happened,” said Nakatani, adding that the federation has already taken preventive steps including keeping the names of examiners under wraps until the day of the exams.

The federation also imposed penalties on those involved in the cases, including suspensions of their memberships and ranks, but not on those who admitted to the allegations and had shown remorse, it said.

The committee that received the complaint has asked the Japan Olympic Committee and the Japan Sport Association to look into the matter.

Japan Sports Agency chief Daichi Suzuki told reporters the same day that he has instructed his agency to investigate the corruption and check other sports that have a similar ranking system.

In iaid, players use sharp- or blunt-edged swords to perform specific forms designated by the federation, and examiners judge their level of training, precision and mental attitude among other factors. As of the end of March 2017, there were roughly 93,000 people holding ranks of iaid.

Source: 17 August 2018, Japan Times

Kendo

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/08/17/national/japans-kendo-federation-reveals-widespread-corruption-promotion-system/

Nigeria

Dalung wants EFCC, ICPC to investigate corruption in sports

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to beam their searchlights on Nigeria's sports sector.

The minister made the request on Tuesday before unveiling the National anti-corruption marathon, Abuja 2018.

"All corrupt cases affecting sports must be investigated," he said. Descend on corrupt people in sports. When you return to your office, look at the files of corrupt persons and bring them to the front burner."

While lamenting the depth of corruption in the country's sports sector, Dalung said there must be integrity in the sector to attract investment.

"We have the issue of match fixing, allocation of medals, doping among others. Athletes are being denied their entitlements by officials," he lamented.

The minister who noted that corruption was more than financial misdeeds, said the wrong use of power was the biggest corrupt practice in the country.

"Those holding offices are using their powers to shield corrupt people in the country.

"We must fight impunity through constitutionalism. Impunity is crippling our national life and the worst corruption is impunity," Dalung stressed.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of EfCC, Ibrahim Magu said the aim of the marathon was to bring together all segments of the society to support the fight against corruption.

Represented by Mohammed Saleh, Magu who argued that corruption was destroying sports in the country, advised that risks of corruption in sport should be included in sports education.

Also speaking, the National Coordinator of the event, Jacob Onu said the marathon will hold on November 3, adding that registration is open to all athletes interested in he race.

Source: Joshua Odeyemi, 7 August 2018, Daily Trust

Football

https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/dalung-wants-efcc-icpc-to-investigate-corruption-in-sports-264671.html

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