Integrity in sport update: Cameroonian authorities meet to discuss match-fixing allegations

Weekly media recap 17-23 August 2015

In this week's edition of the media recap we have reports of match-fixing scandals that have rocked Cameroon's football league and resulted in the Professional Football League of Cameroon calling for an emergency meeting with all stakeholders to investigate these claims. The "No to match-fixing" campaign was recently launched by the National Union of footballers of Cameroon (Synafoc) aimed at protecting the integrity of football and raise awareness of match manipulation.

On the topic of good practice , the integrity body for the regulated sports betting industry, ESSA and England Hockey, the national governing body for hockey in England, have entered into an agreement prior to the Unibet EuroHockey Championships that will see the two bodies working closely on integrity issues. Their aim is to protect hockey events, bookmakers and consumers from any corrupt activities linked to betting as well as to educate the players and officials to ensure integrity in the sport.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Cameroon

Match fixing scandals have rocked Cameroon's Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 prompting the holding of an emergency meeting this Friday in Yaounde. The Professional Football League of Cameroon (LFPC) headquartered in Yaounde, the nation's capital has summoned members of the National Union of footballers of Cameroon (Synafoc), referees and club managers including Peter Kwemo, the founding president of the Union for the Advancement of Sports in Loum,all involved in corruption allegations. Today's meeting is expected to examine match fixing complaints recorded during the AS Etoa Meki versus Racing encounter, counting for the 31th day of Ligue 2), Botafogo opposing UMS of Loum hosted on the 29th day of Ligue 1 and Panther against UMS Loum staged on the 30th day of Ligue 1. Cameroon Concord has been told evidence of corruption and attempted corruption are hanging over these games. A senior football official who spoke to Cameroon Concord late yesterday but sued for anonymity observed that "Joseph Owona and his Francophone acolytes are destroying the beautiful game in Cameroon." In the game AS Etoa-Meki and Racing which ended (1-2) played on Tuesday in the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, the referee Olle Paul reportedly received one million CFA from Pierre Chesneau Kwemo. On August 13, Synafoc launched a "No to match-fixing" campaign that is aim at protecting the integrity of football while raising awareness about the dangers of manipulating matches and above all, to protect and train footballers including other members of the football family on how to identify, resist and report any attempted manipulation before and during a game. The SYNAFOC initiative has received the blessings of Fifpro, the International Federation of Professional Footballers, FIFA and Interpol- the international police.

Source: Sama Ernest, "FECAFOOT to meet today in Yaounde over numerous match fixing scandals ", 21 August 2015, Cameroon Concord, https://cameroon-concord.com/news/sports-and-games/item/3852-fecafoot-to-meet-today-in-yaounde-over-numerous-match-fixing-scandals

India

Cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan may have been given a clean chit by a Delhi court in relation to 2013 Indian Premier League match fixing, but latest news report show intercepts by the Delhi Police regarding their involvement. New Delhi: Cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan may have been given a clean chit by a Delhi court in relation to 2013 Indian Premier League match fixing, but latest news report show intercepts by the Delhi Police regarding their involvement. According to a report in the CNN IBN, Delhi Police intercepts have strengthened the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to refuse to lift the ban on these cricketers. The news channel claimed that they were in possession of several tapes of conversations between the cricketers and bookies — and even broadcast a conversation between Chandila an alleged bookie. The tapes apparently revealed that all of these three cricketers were in touch with bookies during the IPL in 2013. Meanwhile, Sreesanth fixed a performance during a Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab match in May that year. It was also claimed that Chavan fixed a deal worth Rs 60 lakhs with bookies. The Delhi Police have decided to file an appeal in the high court against the lower court's order discharging all the 36 accused in the case.

Source: "Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan conspired with bookies according to Delhi Police intercepts: Report", 20 August 2015, Zee News India, https://zeenews.india.com/sports/cricket/sreesanth-chandila-chavan-conspired-with-bookies-according-to-delhi-police-intercepts-report_1649839.html

Switzerland

ZURICH — FIFA's independent ethics committee is probing "many" cases of suspected corruption, is accelerating its investigations and expects life bans for all but minor offenses, according to a source familiar with the matter. Ethics investigators say the days when corruption offenders could expect to receive only three-month bans were gone, the source told Reuters. "There are many more cases than people imagined and they are determined to pursue them, be prepared," the source said. Although suspected corruption among high-ranking officials has attracted the media spotlight and concerned sponsors, FIFA ethics investigators are believed to regard match-fixing as the biggest threat to the sport as well as the most difficult to combat. "Match-fixing is the big story at the moment," said the source, adding that it was a crime that went beyond the boundaries of sport and needed collaboration from public authorities around the world. Match-fixing is usually instigated by criminal gangs who bribe players or referees to manipulate a game and make thousands or millions of dollars by betting on the outcome. Dozens of players have been banned around the world over the past few years. FIFA has been dogged by suspicions of corruption for years and several dozen officials have been sanctioned since 2010. "Lifetime bans are now seen by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as the normal sanction for corruption and they consider that lesser penalties should only be handed out in relatively minor cases," the source said.

Source: Reuters, "FIFA Team Targets Match-Fixing, 'Many' Cases of Corruption – Source", 21 August 2015, The Moscow Times, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/fifa-team-targets-match-fixing-many-cases-of-corruption-source/528400.html

 

GOOD PRACTICE

Switzerland

Sports data and content supplier Perform Group has confirmed that it has agreed to enter a monitoring and match integrity partnership with FIFA subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS). Perform are set to integrate football data supplies into the EWS monitoring system, which will include historical match data and live performance analysis. The partnership will aim to improve EWS capabilities of detecting and analysing suspicious behaviour which may be related to illegal betting activities. FIFA EWS will enhance its abilities to monitor and study match manipulation as the new European football season enters into full swing. “This cooperation with a leading sports data service provider is a perfect fit for our monitoring approach to ensure an effective and fact-based match analysis. Perform is a very strong partner in the global fight against match manipulation, and such cooperation represents a fundamental keystone of our overall strategy,” said FIFA’s Director of Security, Ralf Mutschke. “Perform fully supports EWS and its commitment to monitor and respond to the threat of match manipulation. We are delighted that Perform digital content can so readily be used in partnership with rights holders in order to strengthen the integrity of competitions. We look forward to cooperating with EWS for the benefit of FIFA competitions and those of its associations and confederations for a long time to come,” said Perform Director of Integrity and Security, Matthew Drew.

Source: Ted Menmuir, "FIFA EWS partners with Perform Group for better match monitoring ", 21 August 2015, SBC News, https://www.sbcnews.co.uk/technology/2015/08/21/fifa-ews-partners-with-perform-group-for-better-match-monitoring/

United Kingdom

ESSA, the integrity body for the regulated sports betting industry, has signed an integrity agreement with England Hockey, the national governing body for hockey in England. The agreement was signed just prior to the Unibet EuroHockey Championships which kicks off later today at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The Championships are a major biennial international televised event involving the top eight European national men’s and women’s teams, and runs until August 30th. The deal will see the two bodies work closely on integrity issues with a view to protecting hockey events, bookmakers and consumers from any corrupt activity linked to betting. ESSA will also be working with England Hockey to educate the players and officials on the issues around betting and ensure that integrity remains the priority. Commenting on the new arrangement, ESSA secretary seneral Khalid Ali praised the sport for taking a proactive, partnership approach with the betting industry. “This is a positive and forward thinking move by England Hockey and we welcome the opportunity to expand our integrity network to include hockey,” he said. “Whilst we have not seen any suspicious betting activity to concern fans of the sport, it is nevertheless important that suitable measures are put in place to deter corrupters.” Sally Munday, chief executive of England Hockey, added: “The risk to the Unibet EuroHockey Championships and to hockey in general is low, but it is nevertheless important that we have suitable preventative measures in place. This arrangement provides us with access to essential data from ESSA’s responsible regulated betting operators to identify and punish any corrupt activity. It sends a very clear and forceful message.

Source: "ESSA signs integrity partnership with England Hockey", 21 August 2015, Gaming Intelligence, https://www.gamingintelligence.com/legal/33656-essa-signs-integrity-partnership-with-england-hockey

 

ILLEGAL BETTING

Malta

Malta has requested the withdrawal of its request for opinion filed with the Court of Justice of the EU on 8 July, 2014, with regard to the compatibility of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions with the EU Treaties. The reason that Malta had submitted the request was to obtain an opinion on whether the definition of “illegal sports betting” was consistent with the objectives of the Treaty. Malta claims that the definition of ‘illegal sports betting’ goes beyond the scope of the Convention and does not contribute to the fight against match fixing. “Malta’s position on the Convention has always been made very clear and remains unchanged. Malta has maintained that it fully supports the main objective of the Convention to prevent the manipulation of sports competitions. Despite the request for opinion, a legislative proposal for the EU to proceed was proposed and is now being discussed in Council." “Given the developing circumstances, and after examining the legislative proposal, Malta considers that other solutions may be available to it and has decided that, at this stage, it is more appropriate to try to achieve an acceptable state of affairs for Malta through deeper dialogue at the European level, without however renouncing to any of Malta'’ rights and prerogatives,” Herrera said

Source: Matthew Vella, "Malta withdraws court request as EU steams ahead on sports betting law", 18 August 2015, Malta Today, https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/europe/56272/malta_withdraws_court_request_as_eu_steams_ahead_on_sports_betting_law

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Italy

Catania have been demoted to the third tier of Italian football for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal during the last Serie B season, the Italian football federation (FIGC) said on Thursday. The Sicilian side were also deducted 12 points this season and fined €150,000 (£107,000), while the club president, Antonino Pulvirenti, was banned for five years and fined €300,000 (£213,000). Catania finished 15th in Serie B last season, two points above the relegation places, after a run of five wins in a row in March and April. The FIGC said the matches under investigation were the wins against Avellino, Varese, Trapani, Latina and Ternana and the draw against Livorno during that period. Pulvirenti and six others were arrested in June on suspicion of fixing matches. The 53-year-old, who also owns dozens of supermarkets and an airline, was accused of sporting fraud and match-fixing. Police said at the time the typical payoff to rival players to throw a match was €10,000 (£7,130). Catania were relegated from Serie A in 2013-14 after eight seasons in the top flight.

Source: "Catania demoted to Italian football’s third tier after match-fixing scandal ", 20 August 2015, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/aug/20/catania-demoted-italian-football-third-tier-match-fixing-antonio-pulvirenti

Views

6265

Related Articles

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Official partners 

BASL
Soccerex Core Logo
SLA LOGO 1kpx
YRDA Logo2
SAC logo LawAccord

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2018. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.