Whistleblower appears as role model at Youth Olympics & investigation continues against Ghanian FA President

Weekly Media Recap 25 - 31 August 2014 Published 02 September 2014

Football at Feet


This week’s media recap includes the highly broadcasted interview given by Wilson Raj Perumal to CNN, in which he reveals details of his years as a match-fixer. He makes reference to the Asiagate scandal, his previous convictions for match-fixing and how he believes more could be done to tackle the issue.

Also featured this week is El Salvador, whose General Attorney confirmed this morning in a press conference the prosecution of 14 people for their involvement in match-fixing. While eleven are football players, the remaining three are businessmen with possible links to Perumal.



El Salvador

The General Attorney confirmed this morning in a press conference the details of the prosecution of 14 people for match-fixing involving the national team. The Attorney stated that they are being prosecuted for the offences of money laundering and concealment of money laundering (up to 10 years imprisonment) as well as unlawful association (up to 9 years imprisonment), given that match-fixing is not yet a criminal offence in the country. International assistance has been requested. Eleven of the fourteen are football players, while three are businessmen possibly allied to the Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal (two of which are Nicaraguan and one Malayan-Singaporean).

Source: "Selecciones de bajo nivel son más fáciles de comprar por mafia", 30 August 2014, La Prensa Graficahttps://www.laprensagrafica.com/2014/08/30/selecciones-de-bajo-nivel-son-mas-faciles-de-comprar-por-mafia-fgr


World football governing body FIFA has referred a match-fixing matter against Kwesi Nyantakyi, the president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to the national association for redress. The decision arrived after the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee concluded a preliminary investigation in relation to the alleged match manipulation involving officials of the GFA and a players' agent licensed by the same association, FIFA said in a statement on Monday. It followed articles published by UK newspaper The Telegraph between June 22-24 and the airing of the Dispatches program "How to fix a football match" on Channel Four on June 23 that made claims of an alleged case of match manipulation linked to the organization of international friendly matches involving Ghana's national team, the Black Stars. However, the GFA has denied the match-fixing allegations and subsequently requested the Ghana Police Service to investigate two persons for misrepresenting the association with an attempt to defraud. Consequently, Christopher Forsythe, a FIFA player agent and Obed Nketia, a football official, were invited by the police following a report filed by the GFA but have been granted police inquiry bail. No charges have been brought against them at the moment.

Source: "FIFA refers match-fixing case to Ghana FA", 26 August 2014, Shangai Daily, https://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=237384

South Africa

A referee who was the whistleblower in a football match-fixing scandal says his life has changed. Cedrick Muvhali, a referee employed by the SA Football Association (Safa), told the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday that he had been accused of being a spy by colleagues, after he reported a fellow referee to officials. Muvhali identified former assistant referee Clifford Malgas, who was sitting in the dock, as the man who had approached him to “fix” matches. They were both members of the Soweto Referees’ Association at the time. Malgas was arrested last October, and is accused of match-fixing in the Vodacom Cup tournament in June, 2011. Muvhali said he realised then that when he got back to Joburg his life would be different. Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk asked him how it was different and Muvhali said he had been called names such as “impimpi” (a spy).

Source: "Referee accused of being a spy", 27 August 2014, iol, https://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/referee-accused-of-being-a-spy-1.1741677




The Latvian government invited Manuel Quintanar, the Spanish La Liga Director of the Integrity Department, to talk at the Saeima (Latvian Parliament), about the measures his department has adopted in the fight against match-fixing and which have decreased the number of possible match-fixing cases. Emil Latkovis, general director of the Virsliga (Latvian Professional Football League), invited Quintanar to Parliament, where he talked about everything related to the game, betting and the use of confidential information. He talked about the prevention objectives as well as the education material that is used. Both Football Associations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will serve for better communication.

Source: "Fight Against Match Fixing In Latvia", 28 August 2014, Diario AS, https://futbol.as.com/futbol/2014/08/27/primera/1409137200_452058.html




Belgium goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet has been named in a 22-man squad for next week's international friendly against Australia after serving a 13-month ban for match-fixing. Gillet was originally given a 43-month ban and was one of 20 individuals suspended in relation to two matches involving Bari in Serie B in 2008 and 2009, where he was playing at the time. The 35-year-old Torino keeper's suspension was reduced to 13 months on appeal in January by the Italian national sports tribunal (TNAS). Gillet replaces third-choice goalkeeper Sammy Bossut in a friendly against Australia in Liege on September 4th.

Source: "Football - Gillet gets Belgium call-up after serving match-fixing ban", 28 August 2014, Reutershttps://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/football-gillet-gets-belgium-call-serving-match-fixing-134210774--sow.html


Simone Farina was invited as an Athlete Role Model to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The former professional footballer blew the whistle on a systematic match-fixing ring within the lower divisions of the Italian game, after he was offered 200,000 Euros by a former teammate to influence the result of a game involving his team Gubbio. These days, when he thinks what might have been, there is a massive sense of relief about the decision he made in 2011. Farina knows he made the right decision, despite the difficulties that came with it. He was among a group of role models asked this week in Nanjing if they had any regrets from their career. For Farina, that he can definitively answer "no", offers a special satisfaction, as he is fully aware that the potential for regret was 10 fold. "I would have been banned by the Italian federation. I wouldn't have been allowed to play football. I wouldn't be speaking with media, and I wouldn't be giving a message to young athletes," he said. Farina was honored for his courage at the 2011 Ballon d'Or Gala. He was also rewarded with an invitation to train with the Italian national team, and is now working as a community coach for Aston Villa in English football. Farina is also working with international police organization Interpol, and said unregulated betting is at the center of most match fixing.

Source: "Farina glad he blew whistle on Italian football match-fixing", 27 August 2014, China Gatehttps://en.chinagate.cn/2014-08/27/content_33354389.htm


Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Bottoman has said Moyale coach Nicholas Mhango's match-fixing allegations had no basis and were unfortunate. Bottoman was reacting to Mhango's claims that the way weekend fixtures were planned -in which their close contenders Big Bullets played only one game compared to his team's two assignments- was tantamount to match-fixing. Bottoman said logistical challenges forced the league to arrange only one game for the Bullets at the weekend. But the Moyale coach argued that even in such circumstances, his team would have been comfortable to play one game.

Source: "Sulom trashes Moyale match-fixing allegations", 26 August 2014, Nation Online, https://mwnation.com/sulom-trashes-moyale-match-fixing-allegations/


Soccer, cricket, NBA and other sports followed by millions of fans around the world are, today, subject to ongoing revelations concerning corruption, match-fixing and other fraudulent types of sports betting. On the eve of the soccer World Cup in Brazil, we learned that at least five games for the preparation of previous World Cups had been manipulated. Often seen as just associated with wealthy teams and organized crime but does this influx risk jeopardizing the long-term existence of sport? In the last 30 years the salaries of players and coaches of the most famous club in the world has risen dramatically and is further multiplied by enormous sponsorship deals. However, the most affected teams are from second division clubs as the salaries of players are not substantial. This semi-professional environment must ultimately retain the attention. The situation is complicated by the fact that these networks operate worldwide and in fragile countries.

Source: "Is Match-Fixing the Death of Sport?", 27 August 2014, The Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/julien-josset/match-fixing_b_5698997.html

Wilson Raj Perumal

He rose from humble beginnings, worked his way through the local leagues before graduating to become a major player on the international stage, netting him millions of dollars along the way. But this isn't a tale about a footballing hero. This is a story about one of modern sport's greatest villains -- the man dubbed the most notorious match-fixer in the world. You may not be familiar with the name Wilson Raj Perumal but given how prolific he was, you might have watched one of the games he's fixed. Perumal plied his trade in Singapore's local football leagues in the late 1980s before joining what INTERPOL recently described as "the world's most notorious match-fixing syndicate" allegedly headed by Tan Seet Eng -- better known as "Dan Tan," who is now reportedly in detention in Singapore. Perumal says he achieved around a 70-80% success rate and claims to have rigged games at the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, the women's World Cup, the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the African Cup of Nations. Perumal served one year of a two-year sentence before being extradited to Hungary where he has been helping police with match-fixing investigations in the Balkans.

Source: Don Riddell and Matthew Knight, "Wilson Raj Perumal: The man who fixed football", 27 August 2014, CNN, https://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/26/sport/football/match-fixing-wilson-raj-perumal-corruption/


ZIFA, led by Cuthbert Dube, feels vindicated by its bid to clean up the game of corruption after convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal finally broke the ice of the match-fixing scandal that rocked Zimbabwe football between 2007 to 2009. Perumal, in an exclusive interview with CNN, said when he made his second contact with Zifa – the first having been in 1997 – he was welcomed with open arms and “We were like two hands prepared to clap.” After facing a barrage of attacks from the public, players, journalists and former Zifa officials, some who even sued the national association, Zifa has not backed down and the latest revelations from Perumal and former Fifa investigator Terry Steans have clearly vindicated the national association. On Monday, Zifa responded to inquiries from CNN on the issue with Mashingaidze, once kidnapped over the match-fixing cases, writing: “Zifa is in receipt of your e-mail and hereby acknowledge its contents." Dube said: “We are aware that our teams were heavily involved in these fixed games and hence the position we took in suspending players and officials. A detailed report has been produced on match-fixing and illegal betting. We have not spoken to Raj Perumal, but we are keen to do so. Lastly, we have set up a disciplinary authority which shall deal with cases of match-fixing and illegal betting between September and December. The closure is set for January 2015.

Source: "Asiagate: Zifa vindicated", 29 August 2014, Southern Eye, https://www.southerneye.co.zw/2014/08/29/asiagate-zifa-vindicated/




Six people have been charged with their involvement in match-fixing two second-tier matches four years ago involving Hvidovre IF football club and their games against Vejle Boldklub and FC Hjørring. According to Copenhagen Police, the six people made about 900,000 kroner, while a Filipino organisation gambled between two and three million kroner on one of the matches. Hvidovre’s former goalkeeper, Lasse Krogh, is among the six involved. The police were made aware of the situation after one of the six charged, a 27-year-old referred to as MT, confessed. Four of the others charged have pleaded not guilty, while the fifth did not want to reveal his position. The first game in question was Hvidovre’s match against FC Hjørring on 24 October 2010 – a match in which the six had agreed Hvidovre would concede at least four goals. It finished 2-4 and the six earned about 300,000 kroner. The second match was Hvidovre’s 0-5 thrashing at the hands of Vejle on 14 November 2010 – a game in which the six agreed Hvidovre would lose by at least two goals. That result netted the six about 600,000 kroner. The case is scheduled to be heard in court on December 19.

Source: "Danish football rocked by match-fixing scandal", 25 August 2014, Copenhagen Posthttps://cphpost.dk/news/danish-football-rocked-by-match-fixing-scandal.10588.html


A court in northern Vietnam has sentenced a professional footballer to 30 months in jail and given eight other players suspended sentences on charges of match fixing, state media reported Monday. Online newspaper VnExpress said players from the Vissai Ninh Binh club were convicted of conspiring to fix the result of an Asian Football Confederation Cup match against Malaysian club Kelantan in March after placing bets with a bookmaker, who was also facing trial. Vissai Ninh Binh has withdrawn from the top-flight V-League but continues to play in the AFC Cup, where it lost 4-2 at home to Hong Kong's Kitchee last week in the quarterfinals. Police across Asia are struggling to combat match-fixing, which has long been prevalent in the region. In 2005, a group Vietnamese national team players were convicted of fixing an international match.

Source: "9 footballers punished for match-fixing in Vietnam", 25 August 2014, AP, https://www.bigstory.ap.org/article/9-footballers-face-match-fixing-trial-vietnam

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