Match-Fixing Update: IOC allocate $10mn to fight illegal betting and India's CBI establish Sports Integrity Unit

Weekly Media Recap 11-17 August 2014 Published 23 August 2014

Football inbound to blue boots
This week’s media recap features India’s positive efforts to combat match-fixing by establishing a Sports Integrity Unit, which will be looking into match-fixing, doping, illegal betting and other sports related corruption. Furthermore, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has started drafting a bill to prevent match-fixing and other dishonest behaviour in sport.

We also include two stories of journalists, each at opposite ends of the spectrum relating to match-fixing. On the one hand, the Dutriz Group from El Salvador was awarded an Excellence in Sports Journalism Award in recognition of their match-fixing coverage since 2011. On the other hand, journalist Peter Fote has been given a one-year ban from all football related activities by the Football Association of Malawi, after admitting his alleged guilt in providing technical (inside) information to an opposing team.

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) proved on Saturday that the match between Farashganj and Wari Club in the Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) on May 21 was fixed, as alleged. BFF's professional league committee will decide the punishment for the offence in their next meeting, scheduled to be held on August 24. Farashganj, who eventually finished second in the BCL, managed a 3-2 win over Wari in their second-leg match after Wari took a 2-0 lead in the first half. Farashganj then struck three goals in the last half hour, leading the others clubs to allege that the match was fixed by the clubs. The BFF then referred the matter to the match-fixing findings committee.
 
Source: "Fixing proved", 17 August 2014, The Daily Star, https://www.thedailystar.net/sports/fixing-proved-37460
 

Greece

Four soccer players from a Super League team colluded with others to affect the course of games so they could win thousands of euros from betting, according to a preliminary judicial investigation. According to the probe’s results, seen by Kathimerini, a 24-year-old player repeatedly contacted a 28-year-old man regarding betting issues ahead of a game between Olympiakos and Panionios. Wiretaps on the players’ phones suggest that the 24-year-old was to be paid 6,300 euros and the other three players lesser amounts. The 24-year-old was also found to be in contact with a 48-year-old gas station owner to whom he allegedly owned 30,000 euros. In a text message, the player appears to suggest he could help fix matches.
 
Source: "Four soccer players cheated to win bets, probe suggests", 14 August 2014, Ekathimerini https://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite5_1_14/08/2014_542157
 

Kenya

Football Kenya Federation has launched a match-fixing investigation into the team's elimination from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers by Lesotho. In a statement the FKF stated the outcome of both legs of the tie, which resulted in a 1-0 aggregate loss for Kenya, were "not ordinary". A seven-member team will report its findings within three weeks. In addition, FKF technical director Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee has been suspended indefinitely pending investigations. The behaviour of former Kenya boss Adel Amrouche, who was sacked along with the entire technical staff after the team's elimination from the qualifiers, has also been called into question by the federation.
 
Source: "Kenya launches match-fixing inquiry into Nations Cup loss", 14 August 2014, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28789123
 

Singapore

The former Malaysia international footballer who jumped bail in 2012 after being charged with attempting to rig a game has been rearrested and was brought before a special sitting in court on Sunday (Aug 10). Deputy Public Prosecutor Shaun Lee urged the court to revoke Thana Segar S Sinnaiah’s bail, noting that the 40-year-old had fled despite posting a S$50,000 bail and having his passport being impounded. Thana Segar, who was an up-and-coming footballer in the 1990s, had been charged on May 24, 2012, with aiding a meet-up between part-time referee Shokri Nor and Selvarajan Letchuman to fix the result of a match. Thana Segar, who was unrepresented in court on Sunday, did not enter a plea. Prosecutors told the court that investigations for immigration offences are ongoing against him. District Judge Victor Yeo ordered no bail for Thana Segar, who will be remanded until his next court mention on Aug 29. If convicted, he faces a fine of up to S$100,000 or jail of up to five years, or both.
 
Source: "Malaysian who jumped bail brought before Singapore court on match-fixing charges", 11 August 2014, Channel News Asia, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/malaysian-who-jumped-bail/1306444.html

 

GOOD PRACTICE

India

The home ministry on Tuesday confirmed that the Central Bureau of Investigation has recently established a Sports Integrity Unit to check matters concerning corruption in sports such as match fixing, doping, illegal betting and other malpractices. "The objective of the Unit, having an all India jurisdiction, is to investigate/inquire into the matters concerning corruption in sports including sports bodies, match fixing, doping, illegal betting and any other related offences and the role of organised crime syndicates therein," the home ministry said in a written reply in the Parliament. On whether concrete measures have been adopted by the Government for strict enforcement of the existing laws to check criminal activities in Sports, the home ministry replied: "The ministry of youth affairs and sports has informed that they have drafted a bill to prevent match fixing and other unethical practices in sports."
 
Source: "Home Ministry Confirms Setting Up of Sports Integrity Unit", 12 August 2014, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Sports/More-sports/Others/Home-ministry-confirms-setting-up-of-Sports-Integrity-Unit/articleshow/40126568.cms
 

International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee vice-president, John Coates, said $10 million had been allocated last month to strengthen the fight against illegal betting and match fixing. Coates’ fears echo those of IOC president Thomas Bach, who says match fixing is a far bigger scourge than doping. Coates recently attended a meeting of global sports executives and investigators — and was stunned by the level of legal gambling. “We have an agreement with Interpol and I’ve been present when they’ve told us the extent of betting. It’s just mind boggling, particularly the dollars coming out of southeast Asia.
 
Source: Leo Schlink, "IOC allocated $10 million to fight match-fixing ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics", 14 August 2014, Fox Sports, https://www.foxsports.com.au/more-sports/ioc-allocates-10-million-to-fight-match-fixing-ahead-of-2016-rio-olympics/story-e6frf56c-1227024880728?nk=fafb9f05a904fe3aa865b1311c0c3384
 

United Kingdom

The UK Gambling Commission has been working with the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) and betting operators to reduce the risk of potential conflicts of interest when a trader encounters information that might indicate suspicious betting activity. As a result ABB members have agreed to adjust their betting terms and conditions to make the contravention of sports or other professional or employer rules on betting a breach of their own terms and conditions. This is in line with one of the recommendations of the Parry report on sports betting integrity. Additionally the major betting operators are looking at changes to employment terms and conditions on a cross-industry basis to ensure that traders are required to act first and foremost in the interests of the employer. These moves aim to reduce the risk of operators accepting bets based on advantageous commercial intelligence in the possession of the employees of other operators.
 
Source: Ted Menmuir, "Trader conflict interest sees ABB members review terms", 12 August 2014, SBC News, https://www.sbcnews.co.uk/retail/2014/08/12/ukgc-aims-to-reduce-trader-with-regards-to-suspicious-betting-activity/
 

ODDS AND ENDS

El Salvador

Dutriz Group received the Excellence in Sports Journalism Abelardo Raidi Award presented by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). The award recognizes the work on media reports related to match-fixing since 2011. AIPS America Vice President Moises Avalos Ruiz visited Dutriz Group headquartes to present the award to El Grafico manager Cristian Villalta and Dutriz Group Editorial Director Gabriel Trillos.
 
Source: "Dutriz Group receives award", 13 August 2014, La Prensa Gráfica, https://www.laprensagrafica.com/2014/08/14/premio-para-el-g-dutriz
 

Greece

The president of Olympiakos Football Club has settled his libel dispute with the The Sun over claims he was facing criminal charges for bribery and match fixing. He said in a High Court claim form that the article alleged he is facing prosecution for “being part of a criminal gang and participating in the offering of bribes as well as match-fixing”. A Sun spokesman previously told Press Gazette: “The Sun stands by its article and a plea of justification has been put on the record.” But today a spokesman for The Sun said: "With regard to the Press Gazette article which was published on 30 May 2013, the action has been resolved amicably between the parties." The original article appears to have been taken down from The Sun website.
 
Source: Dominic Ponsford, "Sun says libel action brought by Greek football boss over match-fixing claims has been 'settled amicably'", 15 August 2014, Press Gazette, https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/content/sun-says-libel-action-brought-greek-football-boss-over-match-fixing-claims-has-been-settled
 

Nigeria

The League Management Company (LMC) has expressed concern at a number of unguarded and unverified statements on the on-going Glo Premier League season which surfaced over the weekend and cautioned club officials and the media against claims that cannot be substantiated. Chairman of LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor, said Monday that whilst the allegations are not to be dismissed, persons with proof of match fixing and such other misconduct against match officials and other club managers should come forward and submit such to the league body or the law enforcement agencies. The LMC boss commended the proactive decision of Crown FC on one of its media officers who has been suspended for making such allegations. Irabor reminded the public that seeking to manipulate match outcome, apart from negating the beauty of the game, is also a criminal offence which security agencies can investigate.
 
Source: "LMC Warns against Unsubstantiated Allegations against Referees", 12 August 2014, This Day Live, https://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/lmc-warns-against-unsubstantiated-allegations-against-referees/186096/
 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Malawi

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has finally slapped journalist Peter Fote who works for state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) a one year suspension in any football related activities after his 'acceptance' of guilt for offering Benin technical information on how they could beat Malawi. FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said "FAM [has] resolved to ban [Fote] for one year from all football related activities, including reporting and football commentary activities". The football body has warned Fote that the ban will be extended if the broadcaster breaches any of the ban conditions.
 
Source: "Malawi broadcaster Fote gets FAM ban over match-fixing plot", 14 August 2014, Nyasa Times, https://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/08/14/malawi-broadcaster-fote-gets-fam-ban-over-match-fixing-plot/

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