INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 16 July 2019 - 29 July 2019
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) gave a life-time ban to the former Botswana Football Association general secretary for accepting bribes in relation to the manipulation of international matches. In addition, FIFA banned for five years a former Sierra Leone Football Association official for having accepted and received bribes in relation to the manipulation of international matches, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has removed KV Mechelen from the Europa League group stage after reviewing its investigation of alleged match-fixing in Belgium last year.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed that the two Malaysian badminton players have lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against their 20 and 15-year bans for match-fixing.
In Spain, the Ministry of the Presidency has approved the creation of a national commission to combat match-fixing and betting-related fraud.
In Sri Lanka, the former sports minister was indicted for fraud linked to the import of sports equipment to be provided to sports clubs. In the United States, a former Auburn assistant coach avoided prison time at his sentencing for a bribery conspiracy charge after being implicated in the college basketball recruiting scandal in the fall of 2017. He was instead sentenced to 200 hours of community service during a two-year probationary period.
Swedish Svenska Spel stopped offering betting on Division 2 Södra Svealand football league after a number of integrity monitoring bodies reported that more than 13 matches had been subject to betting-related manipulation earlier in the season.
Lastly, INTERPOL briefed the heads of the Italian national sports federations on the threats posed by organized crime groups infiltrating the sports industry during a session on match-fixing organized by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI).
We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin.
The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 12 August 2019.
KV Mechelen replaced in the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League
The UEFA administration will replace KV Mechelen from the 2019/20 UEL group stage in accordance with Article 4.08 of the UEFA Europa League Regulations.
On 3 June 2019, within the UEFA admission process to the 2019/20 UEFA club competitions an investigation was conducted over the admission of the Belgian club KV Mechelen to the UEFA Europa League (UEL). Following the investigation carried out by the UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector and the subsequent admission proceedings, on 15 July 2019 the UEFA Appeals Body had decided to admit KV Mechelen into the 2019/2020 UEL, however, without prejudice to the potential reopening of the proceedings should further information arise in relation to the facts and/or merits of the case, which was also ongoing at national level.
Moreover, KV Mechelen was ordered to provide UEFA with all relevant information in relation to the Belgian Court of Arbitration for Sport (BAS) proceedings and/or any other national level proceedings on this matter that may have arised as of 12 July 2019, including but not limited to any further partial or full award that may be issued by the BAS and/or by any other national decision-making body on this matter.
On 17 July, the BAS confirmed the decision of the disciplinary bodies of the Belgian FA who had, inter alia, imposed a ban on KV Mechelen “from playing in the European Cup for one season if the club were to qualify”.
Following this decision of the BAS which was provided by KV Mechelen to UEFA on the same day, the UEFA Appeals Body decided today to re-open the admission proceedings, annul its decision taken on 15 July 2019 and subsequently close the proceedings. As a consequence, the UEFA administration will replace KV Mechelen from the 2019/20 UEL group stage in accordance with Article 4.08 of the UEFA Europe League Regulations (UELR).
The Appeals Body took note of the Belgian FA’s decision confirmed by the BAS and, in this respect, recalled that it falls under the exclusive competence of UEFA, as organiser, to decide on the admission to and exclusion of clubs from its competitions. Nevertheless, the Appeals Body in this case was comfortably satisfied that officials of KV Mechelen and, consequently, the club, were involved in an attempt to fix a match at the national level, and that such conduct falls under the scope of UELR.
Pursuant to Article 4.02 UELR, UEFA “can rely on, but is not bound by, a decision of a national or international sporting body, arbitral tribunal or state court”. Taking into account the current circumstances of the case, the seriousness of match-fixing and UEFA’s zero tolerance policy in these cases, as well as the fact that the Belgian FA had, following the BAS decision, withdrawn KV Mechelen from the official Entry Form to the 2019/20 UEFA club competitions, the Appeals Body acknowledged the decision of the Belgian FA (and, therefore, the BAS Decision) as having the effect of preventing KV Mechelen from participating in a UEFA club competition and thus decided to annul its decision of 15 July and close the proceedings in accordance with Article 4.02 UELR.
Source: 18 July 2019, UEFA.com
FIFA bans former Botswana official in match fixing probe
(Reuters) - World soccer body FIFA has handed a life ban to former Botswana Football Association general secretary Mooketsi Kgotlele for accepting bribes in relation to the manipulation of international matches.
FIFA said in a statement on Monday that the adjudicatory chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee had also fined the former official 50,000 Swiss francs (£40,876.71).
“The formal ethics proceedings against Mr Kgotlele... stem from an extensive investigation into various attempts to manipulate international matches for betting purposes by Mr Wilson Raj Perumal, a known match-fixer,” said FIFA
The proceedings were initiated in September 2018, the statement added.
The ban on Kgotlele covers all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level and came into force on Monday.
The long-running investigation into convicted Singapore-based match fixer Perumal’s activities has already produced life bans for players and former officials.
Togolese Football Association official Kokou Hougnimon Fagla, who was also a referee, was banned from soccer-related activities last March for accepting bribes to manipulate an international friendly.
Seven current and former players were banned for life in April.
FIFA named them at the time as Karlon Murray and Keyeno Thomas from Trinidad, Ibrahim Kargbo (Sierra Leone), Hellings Mwakasungula (Malawi), Seidath Tchomogo (Benin), Leonel Duarte (Cuba) and Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani (Afghanistan).
Kenyan player George Owino Audi was given a 10-year ban and Zimbabwean players’ agent Kudzanai Shaba was banned for life.
FIFA did not give any details on which matches they had attempted to influence.
Perumal was given a two-year jail sentence by a Finnish court in 2011 for bribing players and referees to fix matches.
Source: Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by William Maclean and Pritha Sarkar, 22 July 2019, Reuters
BWF Confirms CAS Decision Against Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirms the appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by Mr. Zulfadli Zulkiffli (MAS) and Mr. Tan Chun Seang (MAS) against the decision of the BWF Ethics Hearing Panel in April 2018 have both been dismissed.
The Ethics Hearing Panel rendered its decision on 27 April 2018 (linked here) banning Zulkiffli from competitive events and performing any role in badminton for 20 years, ordering him to pay a fine of USD$25,000, while Tan received a 15-year ban and a fine of USD$15,000.
The BWF is satisfied that CAS has come to the same conclusions as the independent Ethics Hearing Panel in rendering its decision on the appeal.
Please find the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (linked here).
Source: 16 July 2019, Badminton World Federation (BWF)
FIFA bans another official for bribery in connection to match-fixing
Former Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) official Abu Bakarr Kabba has become the latest to be sanctioned for bribery by FIFA in connection with the manipulation of football matches.
Kabba has been banned for five years by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, which found him guilty of "having accepted and received bribes in relation to the manipulation of international matches".
FIFA has also fined him CHF50,000 (£40,500/$50,000/€45,000).
Kabba, who FIFA said was a former official affiliated to the SLFA, was sanctioned as part of a long-term investigation into known match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.
FIFA said formal ethics proceedings were opened against Kabba in July of last year.
The sanction, which comes into force today, bans Kabba from "all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level".
Singaporean match-fixer Perumal was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football matches in the country.
In a statement, FIFA said it had conducted an "extensive investigation into various international matches (attempted to be) manipulated for betting purposes by Mr Wilson Raj Perumal".
Earlier this week, world football's governing body banned former Botswana Football Association general secretary Mooketsi Kgotlele for life as part of the investigation.
In April, FIFA banned for life seven current and former footballers for their involvement in match-fixing.
Karlon Murray and Keyeno Thomas of Trinidad and Tobago, Malawi's Hellings Mwakasungula, Sierra Leone's Ibrahim Kargbo, Benin's Séïdath Tchomogo, Cuba's Leonel Duarte and Afghanistan’s Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani were those given bans.
FIFA did not give any details on which matches the individuals had attempted to influence.
Source: Liam Morgan, 26 July 2019, Inside the Games
Svenska Spel "monitoring all leagues" following betting market suspension
Following the confirmation that it had suspended all betting markets relating to the Division 2 Södra Svealand football league, Svenska Spel has revealed that it now "does not see any other solution" to crack down on match-fixing other than to stop offering betting on said league.
A number of integrity monitoring bodies have estimated that "as many as 13" matches are suspected to have been influenced by gambling activity, with Spelinspektionen calling for a blanket ban on offering odds on the league for all licensees in the market.
PR lead at Svenska Spel, Linnéa Hedberg, commented: “Svenska Spel is monitoring these leagues in the same way as we do with all leagues we offer betting upon. We act on the basis of a precautionary principle, look for deviating odds movements and stop offering betting in case there are strong evidence of match fixing. We also do not offer betting upon events that are easier to manipulate such as next corner or yellow card.
“With so many suspected games that the integrity of a whole league is to be question Svenska Spel does not see any other solution than to stop offering betting upon Division 2 Södra Svealand. We will also continue with all our other activities such as education, cooperation and monitoring in order to fight match fixing.”
When asked whether the operator would be suspending markets on other football leagues, Hedberg responded: “Not right now but we will continue monitoring all leagues we offer betting upon.”
As the market continues to implement compliance measures, numerous steps have been taken to ensure that operators remain within the country’s gambling laws, especially relating to match-fixing and wagering on games featuring under-18s.
Back in May, Swedish gambling watchdog Spelinspektionen issued a stark warning about the need to comply to current betting laws after a number of operators were found to be offering betting opportunities on football fixtures featuring players under the age of 18.
Swedish law strictly prohibits the wagering of bets on matches featuring players or athletes who are not yet of a legal gambling age – which is currently 18.
The game in question related to a match that had taken place between IFK Göteborg and AIK in Sweden’s top-tier club competition, Allsvenska.
Source: Erin-Marie Gallagher, 26 July 2019, SBC News
Orden Ministerial por la que se crea la Comisión Nacional para combatir la manipulación de competiciones deportivas y el fraude en las apuestas
Mediante Orden Ministerial del Ministerio de la Presidencia, Relaciones con las Cortes e Igualdad se ha aprobado una Orden ministerial por la que se crea la Comisión Nacional para combatir la manipulación de las competiciones deportivas y el fraude en las apuestas. El objetivo de este nuevo organismo será elaborar planes de actuaciones, recomendaciones o diagnósticos para detectar, prevenir y combatir las actuaciones ilícitas en el ámbito de las competiciones deportivas y el fraude en las apuestas.
Esta normativa ha sido promovida por los Ministerios de Hacienda, Interior y Cultura y Deporte y pretende luchar contra estas prácticas delictivas mediante una actuación coordinada de todos sus miembros, así como con la aportación de personas de reconocido prestigio en el entorno de las competiciones deportivas y en el de las apuestas.
La corrupción vinculada a la manipulación de las competiciones deportivas y al fraude en las apuestas relacionadas con éstas, tanto las deportivas como las hípicas, constituye una de las mayores amenazas que se ciernen sobre el deporte, pues atenta contra sus valores esenciales y alejan de su entorno a aficionados y seguidores.
Por este motivo, y en la línea apuntada por el Convenio del Consejo de Europa sobre la manipulación de las competiciones deportivas, el Gobierno ha considerado necesario establecer a nivel nacional un cauce formalizado de diálogo y cooperación entre autoridades públicas, organizaciones deportivas, organizadores de competiciones deportivas y representantes del sector del juego.
Miembros y funcionamiento
Formarán parte de esta Comisión representantes de las direcciones generales de Ordenación del Juego y de Deportes, de la Policía Nacional, la Guardia Civil, el Consejo Superior de Deportes y personas relacionadas con las competiciones deportivas y el sector de las apuestas en España.
Esta Comisión estará presidida de forma rotatoria por el titular de la Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego y de la Dirección General de Deportes, que se alternarán cada año en la Presidencia.
Este organismo funcionará a través de un Pleno y una Comisión Permanente y no supondrá un incremento del gasto público, ya que será atendido con los medios técnicos y personales disponibles en la Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego.
El Pleno se reunirá como mínimo dos veces al año, y en él se abordará la problemática existente en los diferentes sectores, se fomentará la formación, sensibilización y educación para prevenir estas prácticas delictivas. También aprobará la creación de grupos de trabajo, se encargará de aprobar recomendaciones o planes de actuación y colaborará con organizaciones nacionales e internacionales relacionadas con esta materia.
Además, recibirá información del Sistema de Alertas sobre apuestas, gestionado por la Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, y de los casos tramitados por el Centro Nacional Policial de Integridad en el Deporte, Juegos y Apuestas.
Por su parte, el Comité Permanente efectuará análisis periódicos sobre el amaño de competiciones y el fraude en las apuestas y elevará al Pleno las propuestas encaminadas a detectar, prevenir y combatir estos delitos.
Tras su creación, se procederá a la designación de los miembros por parte de cada uno de organismos integrantes de la Comisión como paso previo a la celebración de la sesión constitutiva prevista para el próximo mes de septiembre.
En la misma se procederá a la presentación, y en su caso, aprobación del programa de trabajo.
Así mismo se tiene previsto realizar la presentación del sistema de alertas tempranas desarrollado por la Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego. El citado sistema tiene como objetivo el servir de punto de comunicación, intercambio de información y transferencia de conocimiento en materia de control de los mercados de apuestas, así como de las actividades fraudulentas en materia de alteración de resultados o cualesquiera otras circunstancias relevantes que pudieran acontecer durante los eventos incluidos dentro de las plataformas de apuestas de los operadores.
Como instrumento facilitador de la integridad en el deporte y la lucha contra los amaños y el fraude en las apuestas, durante la sesión constitutiva se presentarán todos los agentes que se tiene previsto que se conecten al sistema, entre los que significativamente cabe señalar, además de la Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, el Consejo Superior de Deportes y las
fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado, los operadores de juego con habilitación para comercializar juego en territorio español, así como federaciones deportivas y entidades organizadoras de competiciones deportivas, las cuales formalizarán su adhesión a través de la firma del correspondiente convenio de colaboración.
Source: 16 July 2019, Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego
INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS
I Segretari generali della Federazioni a lezione di Match Fixing col CIO
Prosegue il percorso di aggiornamento per i Segretari Generali delle Federazioni Sportive Nazionali. Oggi presso la Scuola dello Sport dell’Acqua Acetosa a Roma si è tenuto l’Ottavo modulo dedicato al delicato tema del Match Fixing.
Al corso sono stati invitati a partecipare i Procuratori e i componenti degli Organi di Giustizia delle Federazioni che contano sportivi professionisti.
Alla presenza del Presidente del CONI Giovanni Malagò sono intervenuti i relatori Paolo Bertaccini (Ufficio Sport Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri), Claudio Marinelli (Interpol- Direzione Centrale Polizia Criminale) e Paquerette Girard-Zappelli (Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer CIO).
Source: 18 July 2019, Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano
Confederation of African Football (Caf)
Caf boss Ahmad paid expenses for same days but different countries
Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad is coming under growing pressure as Fifa investigates allegations against him.
Separately, an investigation by the BBC can reveal that Mr Ahmad received two sets of expenses, claiming to be in two different countries, for the same nine-day period during the 2018 World Cup.
According to documents seen by the BBC, the Fifa vice-president twice claimed for payments from African football's ruling body, Caf, for work carried out between 23 June and 1 July.
First, the documents indicate he signed for daily allowances that stated that he was in Egypt for this spell - before later adding his signature to a document claiming he was in Russia at the same time.
As a vice-president of football's world governing body, Mr Ahmad should have been paid his daily World Cup allowance of $450 by Fifa since they organise the tournament - meaning he may have received three sets of payments for the nine-day spell in question.
Caf, whose headquarters are in the Egyptian capital Cairo, has no role in organising the event.
"President Ahmad took [sic] contact with the Fifa administration to support him in its action for Caf's reforms and to get the process more transparent," Caf replied to BBC Sport in a statement.
"The details of this cooperation will be announced very soon. For now, as the President have [sic] a very deep respect of the institutions, he keeps his answers for Fifa's teams, which will lead the future audit."
In June, Fifa and Caf announced that the former will install its own Secretary General to oversee administrative reform in the governance of African football's ruling body from 1 August.
The decision to appoint Senegalese Fatma Samoura as a General Delegate to Caf is unprecedented in the 115-year history of Fifa, which has never had recourse before to help guide the administration of a confederation.
Mr Ahmad, who took charge of African football in March 2017, is currently being investigated by both Fifa's Ethics Committee itself and by French anti-corruption authorities - with an unusual kit deal involving a French gym equipment supplier among the lines of inquiry.
The 59-year-old from Madagascar, whose organisation is currently hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, has strenuously
denied any wrongdoing in previous statements.
Double Double Payment?
In early June 2018, Mr Ahmad travelled to Moscow to attend both the Fifa Congress on 13 June and the World Cup, which ran between 14 June and 11 July.
Documents seen by the BBC indicate that Mr Ahmad flew from Russia to Egypt on 23 June for a four-day stay before heading back to Moscow after a trip home to Madagascar between 27 June and 1 July.
Nonetheless, the documents suggest that, on 28 September last year, Mr Ahmad collected $18,450 from Caf for a 41-day stay in Russia between 7 June and 17 July.
His signature can be seen at the bottom of a page detailing the expenses, which came under the heading 'Mission: World Cup Russia 2018.'
Three weeks earlier, on 9 September, Mr Ahmad had collected $4,050 from Caf for a nine-day period between 23 June and 1 July, which came under the heading "Visit to Caf Bureau".
Mr Ahmad left Moscow on 23 June to fly back to Caf headquarters in Egypt, landing the following day.
The BBC understands Mr Ahmad may have been in neither Egypt nor Russia for the period 27 June to 1 July but in Madagascar, as documents suggest he intended to travel home at that time.
The BBC specifically asked Mr Ahmad and Caf if it could confirm that he was in the island nation at the time but received no response in the statement it was given.
BBC Sport also sought comment from Fifa to ask if it paid Mr Ahmad for the same 41-day period, as per convention, but has also yet to receive any response.
Nor did Fifa answer a question about whether it paid Mr Ahmad for work undertaken on behalf of Fifa in Qatar between 23-25 October 2018.
Despite travelling to the host nation of the next World Cup on behalf of Fifa - with these expenses labelled "Mission FIFA - Qatar" on a Caf document - it appears that Mr Ahmad claimed expenses, amounting to $1,350 from the African football body once again.
Mr Ahmad also failed to respond to the question in his statement despite being specifically asked by the BBC. "No Salary"
Shortly after taking charge of Caf in March 2017, Mr Ahmad told the BBC that he would not be taking a salary from Caf "for the simple reason it doesn't respect good administration".
"The salaries of all Caf employees, from administrators to the executive committee and president, all have to be transparent," he said in May 2017.
The BBC can reveal that just two months later, Mr Ahmad was awarded a monthly salary of $40,000 per month, so amounting to some $480,000 per year, with an annual bonus of $80,000.
While this figure may have been determined by Executive Committee members without his input, Mr Ahmad did not reject the salary nor make it public.
Once again, no response was given when a question on this specific topic was put to both Mr Ahmad and Caf.
Ironically, the man whom Mr Ahmad displaced - Issa Hayatou - had gone without a salary for most of his 29-year reign.
The Cameroonian, who ruled Caf with an iron fist, took charge in 1988 but only accepted a salary, equivalent to $30,000 per month, in July 2016 - just eight months before the end of his decades-long rule.
He had however received a "representational payment", which had grown to $90,000 per year by the time he left office.
Mr Ahmad, who took charge of Caf in March 2017, has two years left of his four-year term.
Source: 16 July 2019, BBC Sport
Former Sports Minister indicted for Rs. 53 Mn sports equipment fraud
The Second Permanent High Court trial-at-bar yesterday served indictments on former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, MP, and former Sathosa Chairman Nalin Fernando in connection with a corruption case filed by the Bribery Commission over a Rs. 53.1 million sports equipment fraud. The Director-General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) had filed indictments against Aluthgamage and Fernando for allegedly committing a Rs. 53.1 million fraud while importing sports equipment during last the Presidential Election.
Two accused were ordered to be released on bail after being served indictments. Accordingly, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Nalin Fernando were separately ordered to be released on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 with two sureties of one million rupees each by the Trial-at-Bar bench comprising High Court Justices R. Gurusinghe (President), Shashi Mahendran and Amal Ranaraja. The case was fixed for August 30.
The Bribery Commission has filed indictments against former Sports Minister, Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and Former Sathosa chairman Nalin Fernando, over the fraud linked to import of sports equipment including 14,000 carrom boards and 11,000 draught boards to be provided to sports clubs during the previous regime between September 1, 2014 and December 31.
Indictments have been filed in this case against the two accused under section 70 of the Bribery Act on six counts.
Source: 27 July 2019, Daily News
College basketball corruption trial: Ex-Auburn assistant Chuck Person avoids prison time
Former Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person avoided prison time Wednesday at his sentencing for a bribery conspiracy charge after being implicated in the college basketball recruiting scandal in the fall of 2017. According to The Associated Press, Person was instead sentenced to 200 hours of community service during a two-year probationary period.
Sentencing guidelines in Person's specific case could have allowed for the presiding judge at sentencing, Judge Loretta A. Preska, to issue two years of prison time. Preska opted instead for a more lenient punishment by citing that "no purpose would be served by incarceration" of Person.
Person accepted $91,500 in bribery money during his stint at Auburn to leverage his own personal relationships to steer players he had influence on to a specific financial adviser, prosecutors in the case uncovered. He entered a guilty plea in March to a bribery conspiracy charge.
Person is one of the four assistant coaches to be implicated by federal authorities related to the college basketball scandal. Former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans was sentenced to three months in prison earlier this summer and faces possible deportation; former Arizona assistant Emanuel "Book" Richardson was also sentenced to three months in prison. Former USC assistant Tony Bland, like Person, avoided prison time but faces two years probation. All four lost their coaching jobs shortly after being implicated in 2017.
Source: Kyle Boone, 17 July 2019, CBS Sports
- Tags: 2018 World Cup | Afghanistan | Anti-Corruption | Anti-Doping | Badminton | Badminton World Federation (BWF) | Basketball | Belgium | Benin | Botswana | Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) | Confederation of African Football (Caf) | Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) | Cuba | Division 2 Södra Svealand | FIFA | Football | Italy | KV Mechelen | Malawi | Malaysia | Match Fixing | Olympic | Sierra Leone | Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) | Singapore | Spain | Sri Lanka | Svenska Spel | Sweden | Togo | Togolese Football Association | Togolese Football Federation | UEFA | UEFA Europa League (UEL) | UEFA Europe League Regulations (UELR) | United States of America (USA)