INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 20 November 2018 - 10 December 2018
published on 12 December 2018
In Belgium, three players from the country’s U16 women’s team were approached by a Turkish man who offered them $50,000 each to influence the game during an international tournament. Also in Belgium, the federal health minister is considering scrapping social security advantages granted to professional football players, following recent corruption and match-fixing investigations in the country.
In Cyprus, more than 30 friendly games were allegedly fixed from 2016 to 2018. The Cypriot company who arranged the games is suspected to be connected with a senior match-fixing organizer and leader of a Singaporean match-fixing syndicate. In Colombia, women’s Copa Libertadores winners Atlético Huila are said to hand over their entire $55,000 prize money from South America’s football federation CONMEBOL to pay off their men’s team’s debts.
In Indonesia, the country’s soccer association (PSSI) executive committee members announced his resignation following his involvement in a match-fixing case. In Japan, the French regulatory authority for online games (ARJEL – Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne) banned bets on a Japanese Championship match between Kashima and Sagan Tosu. In South Africa, two British citizens allegedly linked to illegal sports betting and match-fixing syndicates were arrested during the Mzansi Super League match. In the United Arab Emirates, a corrupt approach was reported in the second edition of the T10 League after a member of the support staff of the Bengal Tigers was approached by a person seeking direct contact with the players.
Over the past weeks, several sanctions were applied in tennis, snooker, badminton and football. As well, two men were arrested for organizing cricket fighting in an underground Chinese casino where more than 300 individuals placed bets of $140,000.
In tennis, an Italian player has been banned for life and fined $250,000 USD after being found guilty of match-fixing. In addition, a former Italian tennis player has also been banned from the sport for 10 years and fined $100,000 USD after being found guilty of match-fixing. Also in tennis, a Brazilian player has been provisionally suspended in relation to an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). In snooker, two Chinese players have been banned from the sport after being found guilty of match-fixing. One player was banned for 10 years and nine months and the other player was banned for six years. In badminton, the sport’s world body has banned for life and fined a Mauritian council member for alleged misuse of funds, including money intended for an Olympic athlete. In football, a Korean player received a lifetime ban from the Korea Football Association after an attempt to fix a domestic league game. Also in football, Express FC become the second Uganda Premier League club to suspend their captain due to alleged match-fixing.
Recently, the United Kingdom became the 34th Council of Europe member state to sign the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. The United Nations recently adopted a resolution <https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/12/Sport-as-an-enabler-of-sustainable-development-EN.pdf> on Sport as an enabler for Sustainable Development. The Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) published its Code of Conduct available here <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/d3dd17a9afdcf674100aa8954/files/32be7d84-1646-4e4c-9b7d-c7e546b85718/18_Code_of_Conduct_formatted_final.pdf>. The Brazilian Senate approved a new lottery and sports betting measure. The United States is moving towards more robust regulations in the sports betting market with a new regulatory body Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA). The recent International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) meeting discussed how to manage conflicts of interest in awarding major sporting events to ensure the process is fair and transparent and developed tools to prevent corruption around procurement at sports events and the way infrastructure contracts are awarded.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to initiate a procedure which can lead to the withdrawal of recognition for the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The IOC has also slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport. USA Gymnastics filed a bankruptcy petition as it as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the US Olympic Committee.
Lastly, two Vietnamese senior police officials were jailed for 10 and nine years after being found guilty of running an underground online gambling ring which raised millions of dollars. A former Guatemalan FIFA executive declared that he was offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for his vote for the 2018 World Cup. As well, a FIFA ethics committee judge has been suspended after being arrested over allegations of corruption in Malaysia. Also, Kenyan National Olympic Committee secretary general steps down over corruption cases linked to Rio 2016.
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 Monday, 24 December 2018.
Match fixing: $150k offered to three Belgian women’s youth players to fix game
November 29 – Three players from Belgium’s U16 women’s team were approached in a match fixing attempt during an international tournament this year, the Belgian FA (KBVB) has revealed. The FA’s integrity officer Thibault De Gendt confirmed rumours while speaking to the Flemish parliament about fraud in the game. “It concerns three girls of 15,” De Gendt said. “After a training (session) they were approached by a Turkish man who offered them $50,000 each to influence a game.”
“The girls immediately informed the KBVB. Subsequently, the international unions (UEFA and FIFA) were informed, and the federal prosecutor’s office as well. The research is still ongoing. With this example, I want to show that match fixing can indeed take place at every level of football", said De Gendt. “Also in youth football. It therefore remains very important to inform players from an early age and to warn them of the dangers of match fixing. We will continue to use this as a football association in the future.” [...]
Source: Samindra Kunti, 29 November 2018, Inside World Football
Investigation uncovers mass Cypriot match-fixing scam led by Chinese club investor
November 20 – More than 30 close-season friendly games in Cyprus during 2016, 2017, and 2018 were allegedly fixed, according to local reports citing a probe by a Romanian member of the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), a widespread media network. The scam reportedly involved fake referees who were part of an intricate match-fixing network involving agents, investors, and players. Starting from January 2016 and running over three years, at least eight individuals from Romania, Portugal, and Latvia went to Cyprus to officiate friendly matches organised by company based in Famagusta in the Turkish-controlled north of the island.
According to the Cyprus Mail newspaper quoting from the investigation, five of the referees were untrained but former and active players. The friendlies reportedly hosted 15 teams from Russia, three each from Poland and Cyprus, two each from Serbia, Czech Republic and one each from Switzerland, Belarus, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary. The Cypriot company who arranged the games, according to the report, “is strongly suspected to be connected to Eric Mao, a 36-year-old FIFA agent and club investor from China.” Most of the so-called officials have played in clubs where he was an agent. EIC has described him as “a senior match fixing organiser and leader of a Singaporean match-fixing syndicate”.
“Through his company Anping, Mao has been an investor in minor league clubs in Europe for over four years, and his entourage has been involved in match-fixing scandals in Ireland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Romania,” said the EIC-linked report.
Source: Andrew Warshaw, 20 November 2018, Inside World Football
Proven of Match Fixing, PSSI`s Exco Member Hidayat Resigns
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Through the organization’s official website, Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) Executive committee (Exco) member Hidayat announced his resignation on Monday, December 3, at the Hotel Sultan in Jakarta, after proven involved in match fixing. Hidayat claims that it is the best decision to take upon relieving his and PSSI’s moral burden. His resignation reduces the number of PSSI Exco to just 14 members.
“I announce my resignation from the Exco membership. This is a consequence. I will step down if deemed guilty by the Komdis,” he said. “I will leave behind my status as an Exco member, I want to be trialed as Hidayat.” He further expects that the disciplinary committee (Komdis) would conduct provide a fair trial for him and maintained that he will accept any decision that the Komdis will take. “Despite not being an Exco member anymore, I want to improve Indonesia’s football,” he said. [...]
Source: 4 December 2018, Tempo.co
International Olympic Committee (IOC); International Boxing Association (AIBA)
IOC Executive Board initiates an inquiry into AIBA
The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today decided to initiate an inquiry into the International Boxing Association (AIBA). This is the initiation of a procedure which can lead to the withdrawal of recognition for AIBA. The decision came after AIBA had submitted a Progress Report to the IOC, as required by the EB decision of 19 July 2018, detailing its current situation regarding governance, financial management and sporting integrity. Today, the EB acknowledged AIBA’s progress and its commitments highlighted in its Progress Report, but several points of significant concern remain, in particular in the areas of governance, ethics and financial management. This requires further investigation and the opportunity for AIBA to respond to any findings. Areas of concern include but are not limited to the following:
In a comprehensive report in 2018, auditors EY stated: “Uncertainty still persists about the ability of the organisation to continue as a going concern.”
The 2018 EY audit report also stated: “We have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis of an audit opinion.”
Audit reports for the financial statements of 2017 and 2018 are omitted from AIBA’s website.
The IOC understands AIBA is unable to maintain or open a bank account in Switzerland, where its headquarters are based.
Governance and Ethics
Gafur Rakhimov’s designation as a key member and associate of a transnational organised criminal network by the US Treasury Department creates uncertainty about his role as President of AIBA.
The IOC EB acknowledged progress in the following areas:
Refereeing and Judging
The PwC report on refereeing and judging at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 found that none of the key observations caused concern to the boxing competitions, and that the tournament’s integrity and credibility had not been affected.
The AIBA anti-doping programme is fully WADA compliant. After discussion, the IOC EB decided to:
i. initiate an inquiry regarding AIBA and, to that effect, delegate its authority – including to organise a hearing of AIBA – to an ad-hoc Inquiry Committee with the remit to:
a. analyse the AIBA Progress Report and the measures presented in it to address the IOC’s major concerns regarding governance, ethics, financial management and refereeing and judging;
b. investigate and assess the areas of major concerns within AIBA, including governance, ethical, financial management and refereeing and judging;
c. form a recommendation for the IOC Executive Board on potential measures and sanctions in accordance with the Olympic Charter;
ii. maintain the previous decisions by the IOC Executive Board to:
a. “freeze all contacts with AIBA, except the ones on the working level which are necessary to implement the respective IOC decisions”;
b. suspend any financial payments to AIBA, including directly boxing-related payments scheduled by Olympic Solidarity, until:
i. “the IOC Executive Board has reviewed and confirmed being satisfied with further proof of AIBA’s ability to continue as a going concern (along with the supporting documents which form part of the financial statements audits: cash flow projections);
AIBA has engaged in a full and independent audit after implementation of the new control mechanisms (organisational policies and process) in order to demonstrate the result of the implementation”;
adopt with immediate effect the following additional measures:
a. freeze the planning for the Olympic boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020, including official contact between AIBA and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, ticket sales, approval and implementation of a qualification system, test event planning and finalisation of the competition schedule;
b. prohibit the use by AIBA of the Olympic properties, including the Olympic rings and Tokyo 2020 logo for any communications/advertising and/or promotional materials;
c. lift the freezing of Olympic Solidarity funding for athletes, on the condition that no funding can be applied for or paid through a national boxing federation.
The IOC Executive Board makes all efforts to protect the athletes and ensure that a boxing tournament can take place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 regardless of these measures. The EB appointed IOC Member Mr Nenad Lalovic as Chair of the ad-hoc Inquiry Committee. He will be joined by IOC Member Mr Richard L. Carrión and IOC Member and athlete representative Ms Emma Terho.
Source: 30 November 2018, Olympic.org
Independent arbitrator dismisses appeal of former Athlone keeper Igor Labut's over offences relating to match-fixing
An independent arbitrator has dismissed an appeal from former Athlone keeper Igor Labut's appeal over for offences related to match-fixing. Labuts and ex-Athlone team-mate Dragos Sfrijan were found to be in breach of FAI rules under the heading of manipulating matches, betting/gambling and bringing the game into disrepute. The charges arose from a First Division match with Longford in April 2017.
Their year-long bans have since expired but the pair still protested their innocence and instigated an appeal process with a view to clearing their record. Sfrijan opted against continuing with that battle as he is now back living in his native Romania, where he secured a job outside of football. However, Labuts, who has returned to Latvia where he is still active in the game, was determined to keep fighting his case.
A statement from the FAI today confirmed that the independent arbitrator had upheld their decision against Labuts. It read: "The Football Association of Ireland welcomes the decision from an Independent Arbitrator on the appeal to arbitration by Igor Labuts of the Independent Disciplinary Appeal Committee's decision.
"Both Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan had been found to be in breach of three FAI rules by an Independent Disciplinary Committee on September 7, 2017. The Rules breached were: Rule 99: Bringing the Game into Disrepute, Rule 105: Manipulating Matches, Rule 106: Betting / Gambling
"The two players were subsequently banned from all football-related activities for 12 months.
"On Thursday, October 4, the Independent Disciplinary Appeal Committee dismissed the appeal of Mr Sfrijan following his absence from the appeal hearing. The Independent Disciplinary Committee also rejected the appeal of Mr Labuts.
"Mr Labuts, in accordance with FAI Rules, appealed the decision of the Independent Disciplinary Appeal Committee to a single arbitrator. The Arbitrator heard the matter on Thursday, November 22 and a final decision was reached, whereby the original decision taken by the FAI Disciplinary Committee has been upheld and the original sanction was also upheld.
"The breach concerns Athlone Town's game against Longford Town in the SSE Airtricity League First Division on April 29, 2017. The FAI has a zero tolerance policy to match-fixing." Labuts now has the option of appealing the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.
Source: 29 November 2018, Sport League of Ireland
Japon : match suspect entre Kashima Antlers et le Sagan Tosu de Fernando Torres
L'Arjel a interdit jeudi les paris sur un match du Championnat japonais entre Kashima et Sagan Tosu, craignant un match nul arrangé. Les deux équipes ont fait 0-0 samedi matin. Quand Fernando Torres a signé au Japon cet été, il s'imaginait sans doute une fin de carrière paisible. C'est raté. Le champion du monde espagnol (34 ans, 110 sélections) était titulaire dans la nuit dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi lors d'un match de J-League sur lequel planent des soupçons de manipulation.
Son club, Sagan Tosu, était opposé ce samedi matin à 6h00, heure française, à Kashima Antlers lors de la dernière journée du Championnat japonais. Avec une configuration particulière : un match nul arrangeait les deux équipes puisqu'il assurait à Kashima la troisième place, synonyme de qualification pour le tour préliminaire de la Ligue des champions asiatique, et à Sagan Tosu le maintien.
Lundi 26 novembre, les opérateurs de paris sentent que quelque chose d'étrange se passe autour de cette rencontre. La cote du match nul baisse de manière spectaculaire un peu partout. Chez le britannique William Hill, elle passe de 3,50 (pour une mise d'un euro sur un match nul, le parieur empoche 3,5 euros si l'issue du match est bien celle-là) à l'ouverture des paris le dimanche 25 novembre à 16h34, à 2,10 lundi à 18h29. Chez le Suédois Unibet, elle descend de 3,45 à l'ouverture lundi à 3h08, à 2,20 le même jour à 15h59.
Une seule explication possible : des sommes importantes sont placées par des parieurs sur un match nul des deux équipes. Plutôt logique puisque tout le monde s'attend à ce résultat. Dans un tel cas, les opérateurs font habituellement baisser leur cote sur le résultat attendu (ici un match nul) pour minimiser leurs pertes. Cette fois-ci, de nombreux bookmakers, dont William Hill et Unibet, décident, lundi 26 novembre, de suspendre les paris sur la rencontre.
En France, l'Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (l'Arjel) interdit les paris sur ce match le jeudi 29 novembre, ce que lui permet la loi depuis le 1er mars 2017 en cas d'« indices graves et concordants de manipulation d'une compétition ou manifestation sportive ». Contactée, l'Arjel a rappelé qu'elle ne communiquait pas sur ses alertes.
Ce type de décision est néanmoins rare. C'est la première fois que l'autorité administrative interdit les paris sur un match cette saison, et seulement la septième fois au total. Le 9 avril dernier, elle interdisait les paris sur les matches du FC Skenderbreu en Championnat d'Albanie jusqu'à la fin de la saison. L'équipe a depuis été suspendue de toute compétition européenne pour 10 ans par l'UEFA pour des matches truqués en lien avec des paris.
Dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi, le résultat que tous les parieurs attendaient s'est produit. Kashima et Sagan Tosu ont fait match nul (0-0). Les deux équipes n'ont réussi que deux tirs cadrés chacune dans un match très pauvre en occasions franches, à en croire le résumé mis en ligne sur la chaîne YouTube officielle de la J-League.
Source: 1 December 2018, L'Equipe
Philippines police nabs over a hundred persons for illegal gambling
Continuing the government’s tough stance against illegal gambling, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) have arrested 104 persons after rading illegal gambling outlets in Pasig City. According to NCRPO head Director Guillermo Eleazar, the police have seised several PCs, laptops, mobile phones and other devices as well. Of the 104 individuals arrested, 93 were Chinese nationals and all of them are booked under RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) in relation to Presidential Decree 1602 (Prescribing Stiffer Penalties on Illegal Gambling). The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) reveals that 170 establishments were raided during the first half of the in an effort to wipe out the unlicensed operations across the country. “The campaign was stepped up in June 2018, after a coordination meeting between PAGCOR, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Immigration, and the Office of the President,” PAGCOR Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) Vice-President Jose S. Tria, Jr. told BusinessWorld back in October.
Source: Niji Ng, 28 November 2018, European Gaming
UK pair arrested in Durban for alleged cricket match-fixing
Durban - Two British citizens allegedly linked to illegal sports betting and match-fixing syndicates were arrested at Kingsmead Stadium during the Mzansi Super League (MSL) match on Friday. The pair, who were in a hospitality suite watching Durban Heat play Jozi Stars, are said to have been banned from Cricket South Africa (CSA) fixtures. It was the second instance of suspected match-fixers being arrested during an MSL fixture.
MSL head Russell Adams confirmed that two other men were arrested in Paarl when the home team, Paarl Rocks, clashed with Tshwane Spartans on November 18. He said that CSA always deployed members of its anti-corruption security unit at matches, but he was not prepared to divulge further details about the arrests. CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said his organisation was concerned that the integrity of the game was under threat and had upped efforts in the MSL to root out corrupt activities. The MSL, a CSA premier T-20 cricket competition, began on November 16 and ends on Sunday.
Attorney Roy Singh, representing the two men arrested in Durban, said his clients denied having any links to illegal sports betting or match-fixing. Singh’s clients, who are aged 34 and 35 years old and are both businessmen, have yet to make a court appearance. After being detained temporarily at Durban Central police station and charged with trespassing, they were released on R500 bail each. They are due in court this week. Singh said he had been instructed by the men to institute a high court action against CSA for its “unlawful arrest and to challenge the bans imposed on them”.
“If my clients were banned by CSA, why did they sell tickets to them?” Singh asked. The men were seated in the “Kings Suite” when they were arrested. Singh said his clients were in the country for a week and had decided to watch the cricket in Durban on Friday. “While in the suite, security officials pounced on them and questioned them about their attendance as they said they were banned. They were also interrogated by CSA officials about sports betting and match-fixing. At the police station, I was able to show the officers that there was no evidence in their possession to prove that my clients were involved with match-fixing or sports betting and I asked for them to be released.”
Singh said he was able to substantiate that his clients had not trespassed as they had valid CSA tickets to attend the match. “My clients believe the authorities acted on hearsay evidence that they were involved with sports betting and match-fixing, which eventually led to their arrest. Therefore, they’ve asked me to pursue the matter with the high court,” said Singh. Moroe said CSA had previously called for strong vigilance from all participants and advised that it would be strictly monitoring any suspicious activity in stadiums during the MSL, as part of its enhanced anti-corruption protocols.
“The protocols included the sighting of any person deemed to be engaging in betting activities or the facilitation of betting activities within stadiums. Such persons will be removed from the stadium and face possible arrest. With the use of enhanced technology, match-fixers are using people posing as fans in the stadium to relay live data to illegal betting houses functioning abroad. To prevent such activities, we have strengthened our in-stadium monitoring and protection capabilities, including the active surveillance of crowd activities. Cricket-loving fans will recognise the risk that corrupt activities present to the game. We call on all fans to assist us in reporting any ‘live’ betting-related activities from any viewing areas within the stadium so that these can be monitored and addressed,” said Moroe.
Source: Mervyn Naidoo, 9 December 2018, IOL
United Arab Emirates
Corrupt approach reported in T10 League in United Arab Emirates
The first instance of an corrupt approach was reported in the second edition of the T10 League that concluded in Sharjah on Sunday. The incident occurred when a member of the support staff of the Bengal Tigers franchise was approached during the second week of the league. "A person claiming to be a potential sponsor approached the support staff. He soon began to seek direct contact with players with a possible agenda of seeking information. The matter was immediately reported to the Anti corruption unit who took care of the case," a source told India Today. The likes of Zaheer Khan, Sam Billings and Jason Roy are the leading players that play for the Bengal Tigers. The league has the official sanction of the ICC and its anti-corruption wing is involved overseeing the conduct of the league. Another incident involving a different franchise too came under the scanner. "It first appeared as a possible honey trap but after investigations turned out to be a false alarm," the source added. Earlier, speaking about the anti-corruption measures adopted during the competition, chairman T10 League, Shaji ul Mulk had told India Today, "We have outsourced the entire ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and with each team we have an ICC anti-corruption integrity officer. We strive to make this league where corruption can be checked at every step." [...]
Source: Rasesh Mandani, 3 December 2018, India Today
Diego Matos provisionally suspended from tennis
Brazilian tennis player Diego Matos has been provisionally suspended from professional tennis by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H McLaren. The suspension relates to an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit into alleged breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program and applies with immediate effect. This means that Mr Matos is prohibited from competing in, or attending, any sanctioned event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport for the duration of his suspension. The 30-year old is currently ranked 247 in doubles and 1270 in singles. 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: 9 December 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng snooker match-fixing: Inside story on Chinese pair
One televised tournament. One day. Two matches. Both fixed. That is the stark reality of what happened on the opening day of the 2016 Welsh Open - one of the darkest moments in snooker's history. Two talented professional Chinese players were corrupting the game - Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng deliberately fixing the outcome of their matches. Now Yu is suspended from the sport until early 2029, while Cao must serve a 30-month ban after admitting breaches of the sport's rules.
Suspicious betting patterns at different matches in which the pair played prompted the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), to open an investigation. The WPBSA has a dedicated integrity unit and worked with data outfit Sportradar, with support from the UK Gambling Commission. Yu and Cao were charged in May and two hearings were held to examine the evidence before a three-person independent tribunal chaired by David Casement QC, sitting with barrister Yasin Patel and solicitor Tarik Shamel. Both Yu and Cao admitted breaches of the rules - but their roles and co-operation with the inquiry varied greatly, which was reflected in their sentencing.
Yu Delu - banned until 24 February 2029
The tribunal found that Yu "engaged in deliberate and premeditated corruption to secure substantial financial gain for his friends/associates and himself". Over a period of 30 months he fixed five matches at five different tournaments. He also admitted lying to investigators, failing to cooperate with the investigation and betting on snooker when banned from doing so. The 31-year-old, like English player Stephen Lee - the former world number six - faced a 12-year ban, but this was reduced to 10 years and nine months after he made a late guilty plea. Lee has never admitted the offences he was convicted of in 2013 and will be 50 before he can make a competitive return to snooker. Yu, whose actions were described by the tribunal panel as "a scourge to the game of snooker", was also ordered to pay more than £20,000 towards the WPBSA's costs.
Cao Yupeng - banned until 24 November 2020
The 28-year-old admitted to fixing three matches in 2016 and failing to fully co-operate with the WPBSA inquiry. A suspension of eight years was initially considered before he was given credit for his plea of guilty, which reduced it to six. He will serve a suspension of two and a half years unconditionally. The remaining three and a half years are suspended - on condition he complies with a written agreement to "provide significant assistance to the WPBSA in its anti-corruption work". After stonewalling his initial interviews, he made a full confession and expressed his sorrow for being involved.
"He explained that he had been involved in fixing matches as a result of his financial difficulties, although he maintained he had not fixed any matches since 2016 but admitted he received £5,000 for each fixed match," said the tribunal panel report. He was ordered to pay more than £15,000 towards the WPBSA's costs. [...]
Source: Frank Keogh, 2 December 2018, BBC Sport
Daniele Bracciali banned and fined for tennis match-fixing offences
Italian tennis player Daniele Bracciali has been banned from tennis for life and fined $250,000 USD after being found guilty of match-fixing and associated offences. The case against Mr Bracciali, 40, was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H McLaren and based on an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit. In a decision announced today, which follows a disciplinary Hearing held in London on 18-19 September, Prof McLaren found him guilty of match-fixing offences relating to the ATP 500 World Tour tournament played in Barcelona, Spain in April 2011. He was also found to have facilitated betting relating to the Barcelona match. The finding of guilt and imposition of the lifetime suspension means that with immediate effect Mr Bracciali is prohibited from playing in or attending any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport. The breaches of the 2011 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program he was found to have committed are as follows:
D.1.d: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
D.1.b: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company; and appearing in commercials encouraging others to bet on tennis.
Daniele Bracciali is currently ranked 100 in doubles and reached a career-best of 21 in June 2012. As a singles player his highest ranking was 49 in May 2006. 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: 21 November 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
Potito Starace banned and fined for tennis match-fixing offences
Former Italian tennis player Potito Starace has been banned from any future involvement in the sport for 10 years and fined $100,000 USD, after being found guilty of match-fixing and associated offences. The case against Mr Starace, 37, was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Prof Richard H McLaren and based on an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). In a decision announced today, which follows a disciplinary Hearing held in London on 18-19 September, Prof McLaren found him guilty of match-fixing offences relating to the ATP 500 World Tour tournament played in Barcelona, Spain in April 2011. He was also found to have facilitated betting relating to the Barcelona match. The finding of guilt and imposition of the 10 years suspension, means that with immediate effect the now-retired Mr Starace is prohibited from attending any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport. The breaches of the 2011 Tennis Anti-Corruption Program he was found to have committed are as follows:
D.1.d No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
D.1.b No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person website; writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company; and appearing in commercials encouraging others to bet on tennis.
In October 2007 Mr Starace reached a career-best singles ranking of 27. His highest doubles ranking was 40 in June 2012. 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: 21 November 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit
Korea (Rep. of)
Ex-Korea international Jang gets life ban for match-fixing
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ex-South Korea international Jang Hak-yong has received a lifetime ban from the Korea Football Association (KFA) after an attempt to fix a domestic league game. Jang, a left-back who played five times for South Korea and more than 300 domestic games before he retired in 2017, was arrested in September and sentenced to 10 months in jail. After Jang’s release he will be barred from participating in any soccer-related activities.
The 37-year-old Jang met Lee Han-saem, a player with Asan Mugunghwa in the second division of the K-League, in September. He was found guilty of offering Lee 50 million won ($44,300) to receive a red card within the first 20 minutes of a game against Busan I’Park on Sept.22. Lee refused, informed the authorities and Jang was subsequently arrested. Lee received a reward of 70 million won ($62,000) from the KFA, which announced the sanction for Jang on Monday.
Korean soccer is still recovering from a damaging match-fixing scandal during the 2011 K-League season that involved more than 50 players or former players. Other sports have been caught up in corruption. In 2016 police charged 21 people, including two pitchers, involved in South Korea’s professional baseball league. There have also been issues in the volleyball league with four players banned for life in 2012.
Source: AP, 26 November 2018, FoxSports
Badminton: Mauritian official banned for life after corruption charges
LONDON (Reuters) - Badminton’s world body has banned for life and fined Mauritian former council member Raj Gaya after a hearing over alleged misuse of funds, including money intended for an Olympic athlete. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement on Wednesday that Gaya had been fined $50,000 by its ethics hearing panel following an investigation that started in June last year.
The charges against Gaya stated that grants or funding intended for the Mauritius Badminton Association (MBA) had been diverted into personal bank accounts and used “for his own benefit”. He was also accused of submitting forged accounting documents and falsifying or exaggerating expenses. The ethics hearing panel also looked into claims that money paid by the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) to help shuttlers qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics had been siphoned off. “The BCA allocated $21,485 to the MBA... and paid $19,150 (to) Mr Gaya for that purpose, of which about $18,000 should have been paid to the Mauritian player Kate Foo Kune,” it said.
The player declared in a witness statement that she had received only $1,100, money the BWF said was paid in cash only after the player was “forced to pester” Gaya. The former official said in his defense, before ceasing to cooperate with the BWF investigation, that he paid more than $1,100 but some money had gone to the national association for her expenses. The panel ordered $5,000 of the fine to be paid to the player, a multiple African women’s singles champion who was the Mauritian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics. Gaya had held positions with the BWF, BCA and MBA since 1999. In May the BWF banned two Malaysian players for 15 and 20 years for betting and match-fixing offences.
Source: Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris, 5 December 2018, Reuters Badminton
Express suspend Captain over Match fixing
Express FC has suspended club Captain, Julius Ntambi for alleged indiscipline and misconduct. PML Daily understand that the indiscipline cases are related to match fixing practices including during Express’s 2-0 loss at home to Onduparaka FC last Saturday. In a letter dated 6th December and signed by Express chairman, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, it is indicated that the captain has been suspended indefinitely from the club.
“In Express FC’s drive to excellence, discipline in its facets shall be and remains fundamental building block, read the latter. Express maintains a policy of zero tolerance to indiscipline. Mr. Julius Ntambi’s conduct has been found wanting in several aspects and it’s now the subject of investigation. We therefore inform the Express family and entire footballing fraternity that Mr. Ntambi has been suspended indefinitely, as investigations into the alleged indiscipline and misconduct are concluded.
Ntambi was named Express FC captain in September this year. He has previously featured for URA FC and Kira Young and was a key feature in the Cranes team that took part in the 2014 CHAN tournament in South Africa. Express become the second Uganda Premier League club to suspend their captain due to alleged match fixing after Nyamityobora did likewise two games into the current campaign.
Source: SHABAN LUBEGA | PML Daily Sports Editor, 7 December 2018, PML Daily Football
Brazilian Senate approves sports betting measure
Sports betting is just one step away from being legalised in Brazil after the upper house of the country’s National Congress approved legislation allowing online and land-based wagering. The Brazilian Senate has approved Provisional Measure 846/18, which formalises plans for the distribution of revenue raised through the country’s national lottery Loterias Caixa (Lotex), after the measure was approved by a committee in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies.
As well as formalising lottery distribution plans, the measure also sets a two-year window in which the Congress could formalise regulations for private operators to enter the market and pay tax on their activities. The author of the measure, Pará Senator Flexa Ribeiro, noted that this would ensure the state could recoup a share of the country’s offshore gambling market, which is estimated to be worth around BRL$4.3bn (£876m/€990m).
While elements such as technical regulations and the number of licences permitted have not been set out, Ribeiro has proposed a tax structure for licensees. His proposal also aims to have the Brazilian Ministry of Finance given ultimate responsibility for regulating the sector. Land-based operators will be required to pay 80% of amounts wagered back to players as winnings, and will be permitted to keep no more than 14% to cover costs and to be distributed to shareholders as profit.
The final 6% will be divided between a number of social entities, with 2.5% going to the country’s paramilitary National Public Security Force (FNSP), and 2% going to football clubs that allow the lottery to use their branding to promote its games. A further 1% will be awarded to public schools that meet certain targets in national examinations, with the remaining 0.5% going to the country’s social security fund.
Online operators, meanwhile, will be required to pay out 89% of wagers as winnings, and will be allowed to retain 8% of the total. The social security fund will receive 0.25% of profits; schools 0.75%; the FNSP 1% and football clubs 1%. Having been approved by the Chamber of Deputies earlier this week and passed by the Senate, Provisional Measure 846/18 now passes to President Michel Temer, who has previously said that he would ratify any gambling legislation that reaches his office.
Medida Provisória n° 846, de 2018: https://www.congressonacional.leg.br/materias/medidas-provisorias/-/mpv/134005
Source: 23 November 2018, iGamingBusiness
Vietnam jails senior police for running online gambling ring
HANOI (Reuters) - A Vietnamese court on Friday jailed two senior police officials found guilty of running an underground online gambling ring which raised millions of dollars, state media said. Phan Van Vinh, former head of the Police General Department, and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former head of the high-tech crime police department, were jailed for nine and 10 years, respectively.
Both were convicted of “abusing power in performance of official duties”, the online newspapers VnExpress and Zing News said. Officials and state media in the communist-ruled country often denounce gambling as a “social evil” but it is widespread. Police shut down dozens of gambling rings annually.
“I will have to say sorry for the rest of my life because the consequence of the case is so serious,” Vinh told the court last week, according to the ministry statement.
State media reports said that Vinh was taken to hospital on Friday suffering from high blood pressure and wasn’t at the court to hear the sentencing. Last year, Vietnam said it would allow some citizens to gamble at selected casinos, in a move aimed at boosting domestic tourism and raising state revenue.
Source: Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Nick Macfie, 30 November 2018, Reuters https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-security-trials/vietnam-jails-senior-police-for-running-online-gambling-ring-idUSKCN1NZ0ZS
Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF)
CADF partners with Sportradar Integrity Services across Intelligence, Investigation and Anti-Doping Services
The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to define and carry out the fight against doping in cycling, has today signed a landmark agreement with Sportradar Integrity Services, the world’s leading provider of monitoring solutions that support the fight against betting-related match-fixing and corruption.
This partnership will see Sportradar Integrity Services make its Intelligence and Investigation Services available to CADF for the next two years. CADF will have access to Sportradar’s unique and extensive expertise, as well as their ability to carry out or assist with certain elements of investigations into potential or alleged breaches of CADF anti-doping rules via their dedicated intelligence experts.
Speaking about the partnership, Olivier Banuls, Deputy Director at CADF said: “Anti-doping intelligence has been part of our overall strategy since 2015 and through this agreement with Sportradar our capabilities are further strengthened. Information gathered through our intelligence process is at the forefront of our testing strategy and investigations.”
François Marclay, Intelligence Manager, added, “As we have been able to witness earlier this year, we are confident that Sportradar’s services will bring an added-value to our intelligence activities and we look forward to benefiting from their expertise.”
Andreas Krannich, Managing Director of Integrity Services at Sportradar said: “We are delighted to be providing our Intelligence and Investigation Services to CADF. Intelligence is a vital tool in the modern day fight to uphold sporting integrity and anti-doping efforts are no exception to this. Our intelligence unit has already proven adept at handling complex intelligence tasks, including within the anti-doping field and we expect that they will once again produce valuable results in any ensuing investigations of persons of interest within cycling.”
Source: 20 November 2018, Sportradar
Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS)
GLMS publishes its Code of Conduct
GLMS published today its Code of Conduct. The Code applies to everyone engaged with the GLMS family, including members (individual and associate), partners, employees and Executive Committee Members. The Code was unanimously adopted by the GLMS membership base at the GLMS General Meeting in Buenos Aires on November 20. Although the Code might not address every issue that might arise, it seeks to provide a solid foundation for making good decisions.
GLMS President, Ludovico Calvi has stated: “Competent and effective performance is critical to our success, but just as important is how we go about achieving results – with honesty , transparency and respect, without taking shortcuts, and by operating ethically and with integrity in all that we do. The adoption of the present Code not only, once again, demonstrates that GLMS Members – Lotteries take their responsibility towards society in serious, but also proves the real commitment of the entire GLMS family to making zero compromises when it comes to the integrity of any step we take in our daily activity and operations”.
The Code also includes recommendations towards Lottery-Members regarding their Sports Betting operations. These recommendations, which should be seen as complementary to the jurisdictional, legal and regulatory requirements within each national jurisdiction, address numerous relevant issues, such as protection of minors, cautious selection of events and betting types to be offered, avoidance of conflict of interests, obligation to report suspicious betting activity, contribution to good causes, etc. They are also in line with the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions.
In addition, the Code outlines the corporate ethics principles and guidelines mandatory for all employees and ExCo members of GLMS, and the core ethical principles of respect, equity and non-discrimination, effectiveness, honesty, loyalty, transparency, responsibility, legality, impartiality and integrity, governing the behaviour and everyday professional conduct of all those who belong to the GLMS family.
Source: 5 December 2018, Global Lottery Monitoring System
Major summit staged in London as part of global fight against corruption in sport
More than 100 Ministers, international sports organisations and experts from around the world will meet in London today to reaffirm the global commitment to tackling corruption in sport. Delegates at the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) will discuss how to manage conflicts of interest in awarding major sporting events to ensure the process is fair and transparent. They will also develop tools to prevent corruption around procurement at sports events and the way infrastructure contracts are awarded. Today’s summit represents a strengthening of the international commitment to protect sport from the corrosive effects of corruption. It is the first high-level IPACS meeting since the partnership was launched at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Forum on Sport Integrity last year. The partnership’s mission is to bring international sports organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisation together “to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport”. [...]
Source: From: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, 6 December 2018, UK Government https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-summit-staged-in-london-as-part-of-global-fight-against-corruption-in-sport
UK Government signs Macolin Convention to tackle match-fixing in sport
The Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions - more commonly known as the Macolin Convention - aims to prevent, detect and punish match fixing. It was signed today by Minister for Sports and Civil Society Mims Davies with Gabriella Battaini Dragoni, Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General. The Convention is the only treaty dedicated to fighting the manipulation of sports competitions.
Sports Minister Mims Davies said:
Match-fixing is a real threat to the integrity of sport. It is a crime that robs spectators of the pleasure of watching a contest that they can trust. While I’m confident that we have a robust system in place to prevent match-fixing, we cannot be complacent. It is a cross-border issue, and only through a coordinated international effort can we mitigate the risks.
Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini Dragoni said:
I warmly welcome today the United Kingdom’s signature of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. This treaty is the only international legally-binding instrument against match-fixing, illegal betting, bad governance, insider information, conflicts of interests and the use of clubs as shell companies. This is a clear commitment by the United Kingdom to secure integrity in sport through our convention.
During the signing, the Minister welcomed the leadership shown by the Council of Europe in developing this Convention and highlighted the work of the Gambling Commission and the Sports Betting Integrity Forum in combating match-fixing in the UK. The Convention encourages sports organisations and competition organisers to put appropriate measures in place such as adopting principles of good governance and educating athletes.
Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director for Enforcement and Intelligence, said:
"We are pleased that the government has signed the Convention. It demonstrates our commitment to international collaboration in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions and to protecting the integrity of both sport and sports betting in Great Britain”.
Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Mims Davies MP, 6 December 2018, UK Government https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-signs-macolin-convention-to-tackle-match-fixing-in-sport
ODDS AND ENDS
De Block ready to scrap social security advantages for pro footballers
Federal health minister Maggie De Block is reported to be considering scrapping social security advantages granted to professional football players, following the continuing revelations of corruption and match-fixing in the investigation known as Footgate or Operation Clean Hands (a reference to the Italian operation Mani Pulite against the Mafia in the 1990s). First-class football clubs make a substantial saving every year on reductions of social security contributions (RSZ), worth a total of €7o million a year, as well as cuts in corporation charges worth another €57 million. The latter concession is supposed to be used by clubs for investment in youth projects.
Clubs who pay their players the most receive the lion’s share of the benefits. From the total of €70 million RSZ concessions in a year, Anderlecht alone reaps €20 million, followed by Standard on €8.4 million and Club Brugge on €7.9 million. When the allegations in Footgate first emerged, De Block, together with finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt and employment minister Kris Peeters, together considered the question of concessions for football clubs. De Block is now closer to taking action.
“As soon as the Clean Hands affair came to light, I put the sector on alert,” De Block said. “Football has to get its house in order, otherwise politicians will not hesitate to cast doubt on the RSZ concession. Everyone seems convinced something has to be done. What we have seen this week causes me to be anything but hopeful.”
Kris Peeters, however, called for the football sector to be given time to sort out its own problems before the government takes any steps. De Block is less than impressed by efforts so far. After a long session of talks this week, the Football Union came forward with only two minor proposals.
“I asked for a sign, but I didn’t get one,” she said later. “Since concrete results are not forthcoming, I have asked my department to work out a proposal to get rid of, or at least reduce, the RSZ concession.”
Source: Alan Hope, 25 November 2018, Brussels Times
Cricket fight fans bet $140,000 on illegal bug boxing matches
Upon hearing the term “cricket fighting,” it’s easy to imagine a team of cricket players having at it on a pitch in the UK or South Africa or India. More difficult to wrap one’s head around is literal cricket fighting: insects mixing it up — and gamblers wagering on the outcomes. But, according to the Chinese website Shine, this is fairly commonplace among Sino gamblers and dates back to the Tang Dynasty.
However, longevity does not make it legal. Earlier this week, “three men accused of organizing cricket fighting in an underground casino” were busted by authorities (only two were actually arrested). Over the course of a week, 300 cricket fanciers arrived and bet some $140,000 on which of the well-fed male bug boxers would leave the oval-shaped ring alive — or simply give up. Reuters reports that one lover of cricket-fights, Man Zhiguo, maintains a stable of 70 aggressive insects, referred to as “little gladiators.”
They reside in their own room, where a framed photo of a cricket named Hongyaqing (it translates to ”a black cricket with two red teeth”) enjoys pride of place. And deservedly so: He won the 2004 National Cricket Fighting Championship. Trying to find another champ, Zhiguo judges future contenders by their color, singing skills and movements. Though the blood sport was banned during the cultural revolution, it seems to be enjoying something of a 21st century comeback, complete with special water and food, specific weight classes, uniformed refs and even little beds for the pampered battlers to rest up in.
Involved as it all is, don’t expect to land in China and just stumble into one of the cricket casinos. It appears some things are universal: The first rule of this fight club is, you guessed it, you do not talk about fight club. As put by a buggy owner, who’s won as much as $20,000 in a single illegal gambling match, “There’s a lot of betting. But it’s against the law. You don’t know the place [where the betting matches go on]. Only the guys who know the place know the place.”
Source: Michael Kaplan, 28 November 2018, New York Post https://nypost.com/2018/11/28/cricket-fight-fans-bet-140000-on-illegal-bug-boxing-matches/
Comisión de la Mujer rechaza desviación de recursos ganados por equipo femenino del Atlético Huila
Bogotá D.C, 4 de diciembre de 2018.- Malestar entre las integrantes de la Comisión Legal para la Equidad de la mujer generó la denuncia realizada por la futbolista del equipo femenino del Atlético Huila Yoreli Rincón, quien señaló que los recursos obtenidos por haber sido campeonas de la Copa Libertadores Femenina 2018 se destinará a fortalecer las arcas del fútbol masculino. Según la denuncia realizada por la deportista Rincón, "el premio del trofeo y una suma que asciende a 55 mil dólares se destinaría al Atletico Huila Masculino, el cual tiene un presidente diferente al de la rama femenina"
Para los Congresistas de la Comisión, este hecho no tiene presentación y se constituye en un acto que violenta los derechos de unas deportistas que se han esforzado por dejar en alto el nombre de su región y de todo un país. Y, en compensación por su esfuerzo se encuentran con que los recursos que se deberían destinar a fortalecer su equipo terminan fortaleciendo las arcas del equipo masculino. Finalmente hicieron un llamado a las directivas del equipo huilense para que reconsideren la decisión tomada y, destinen los recursos del premio a fortalecer el deporte femenino en la región, para estimular a sus deportistas y continuar cosechando triunfos.
Source: por Prensa Comisión de la Equidad y la mujer, 5 December 2018, Senado Replica de Colombia Football
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
IOC eases off support for electronic gaming as Olympic event
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee has slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport. After an Olympic leaders’ meeting on Saturday, the IOC says “discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature.”
Enthusiasm has seemed to dim since the IOC hosted a July conference with esports organizers and players. Sports bodies are now advised to “continue to engage with this (gaming) community, whilst at the same time acknowledging that uncertainties remain.”
The IOC rules out cooperation with violent games, and suggests virtual and augmented reality could become more popular with young people. “Commercially driven” gaming was also compared unfavorably with “values-based” sports. The IOC says governing bodies will continue meeting gaming industry officials “to explore jointly collaborative projects.”
Source: Associated Press, 8 December 2018, The Washington Post
Esports Integrity Chief Concerned About Fortnite Gambling
The commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition says skill-based betting on battle royale games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battleground could be vulnerable to cheating. Esports gambling website Unikrn announced plans last month to bring legal skill-based betting to the U.S., allowing players to wager on themselves. Users would link their game to the Unikrn platform, and Unikrn will generate odds for the player based on his or her profile within the game. ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith says such wagering is likely to be popular, but he's concerned the industry is not yet prepared to govern it. In particular, he's skeptical operators like Unikrn have the ability to ensure the skill ratings of the bettor match the abilities of the person manning the controls. [...]
Source: Jake Seiner, 21 November 2018, US News
New Integrity Body SWIMA Will Regulate Betting in the US
The United States is moving towards more robust regulations in the sports betting market with a new regulatory body SWIMA. Since the world of sports betting changed in May, casinos, and bookmakers across the US are looking for throwing more standardization in the industry so they can spread their businesses in the country. Some states have realized that there is an opportunity in letting the sports betting market open for their citizens while others are still shying away.
The sports betting market could be looking for regulations along the lines of the UK and other developed markets. The US has paid heed to the market sentiment and will establish its own set of integrity standards, which take the concerns of all stakeholder parties into account. The entity responsible for this will be SWIMA or Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association. The not-for-profit organization will establish and integrity framework that could be used by the state and even the tribal gaming segments.
SWIMA will collaborate with lawmakers locally and seek opinions from experts to ensure that the industry works within the ambit of law. It will also coordinate with local law enforcement to ensure that the match-fixing and other illegitimate practices in the industry that could affect the operations of the bookmakers negatively are detected and dealt with.
The primary goal of SWIMA will be the protection of consumers as well as operators and betting industry stakeholders from potential frauds which can cause unfair manipulation of betting events. The organization is modeled after a European entity called ESSA or Sports Betting Integrity. Its most potent partnerships with the operators to help investigate cases of suspicious betting activity, to reveal intentional bypassing of the rules.
Additionally, SWIMA will help in developing common rules which could help the users and operators in dealing with simplified regulations and tackle myths related to sports betting. SWIMA has already listed several titans of the industry including Bet365, Paddy Power Betfair’s FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock International, William Hill, DraftKings, Tropicana Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel, MGM and Caesars.
George Rover, the former assistant attorney general of New Jersey and gaming expert, will become the Chief Integrity Officer of SWIMA. The organization has also been endorsed by American Gaming Association (AGA), which has previously opposed excessive regulation in the sports betting markets of the US. AGA vice president Sarah Slane called SWIMA’s establishment a milestone for the sports betting industry for improving transparency and providing better consumer protection.
Source: 2 December 2018, Casino Betting News
USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy in wake of Larry Nassar scandal
USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an effort to ensure its survival. The embattled organization filed a bankruptcy petition on Wednesday as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the US Olympic Committee.
USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor who admitted sexually abusing athletes under his care. Nassar was given an effective life sentence for his crimes earlier this year. Gymnasts, including Olympic champions Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, have been critical of how USA Gymnastics treated the Nassar case.
Kathryn Carson, who was recently elected chairwoman of the USA Gymnastics board of directors, said the organization is turning to bankruptcy after mediation attempts failed to gain traction. “Those discussions were not moving at any pace,” Carson said. “We as a board felt this was a critical imperative and decided to take this action.”
The filing does not affect the amount of money available to victims, which would come from previously purchased insurance coverage, she said. Carson said the insurance companies “are aware we’re taking this action and our expectation is they will come to the table and pay on our coverage.” Carson added: “This is not a liquidation. This is a reorganization.”
USA Gymnastics also hopes the move will buy it enough time to fend off the USOC’s intent to decertify the organization. The USOC took steps last month to remove USA Gymnastics as the sport’s governing body at the Olympic level, a step that’s taken only under the most extreme circumstances. In an open letter to the gymnastics community, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better”.
Carson said the legal maneuvering on Wednesday delays the USOC’s efforts to strip its designation as a national governing body. “We always have a dialogue going with them and intend to make it clear with them we have a lot to talk about and we want to keep that going,” Carson said.
USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky disagreed. “While we fully understand that USAG believes this restructuring will begin to solve deficiencies we’ve identified, the filing does not impact our Section 8 complaint and that process will move forward,” Sandusky said.
Source: Associated Press, 5 December 2018, The Guardian
Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA)
Equity decry "match-fixing" after FIBA exit
A livid Equity Bank coach Carrey Odhiambo slammed FAP for "match-fixing" following their 42-70 loss that enabled Victoria Club to survive elimination at the FIBA Africa Women’s Champions Cup. Victoria Club had lost all three of their opening matches in Group A before pulling of the dubious rout of FAP to go above Equity in fourth as they sealed the last available playoff slot. Odhiambo and his Equity side will now have to focus on finishing ninth at the prestigious clubs competition where domestic champions test themselves against their fellow African peers.
“I am very much disappointed that such things happen at this level. How can a team that lost in Zone Four beat a number one team by over 20 points. Everybody says this was match fixing,” Odhiambo said. Angolan side Interclube finished top of the group with eight points as home team Ferroviaro de Maputo finished second with seven points while Victoria Club of DR Congo finished third as FAP of Cameroon finished fourth with five points each. First Bank of Nigeria topped Group B with eight points as I.N.S.S of DRC Congo came second while Kenya Ports Authority and MB2ALL of Madagascar finished third and fourth respectively. Lakers of Zimbabwe finished last.
Source: Dennis Kamariki For Citizen Digital, 22 November 2018, Citizen Digital
United Nations’ Resolution recognises the importance of sport for sustainable development
“Sport as an enabler for Sustainable Development”: this is the title of the Resolution adopted today by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York. It encourages Member States and relevant stakeholders to emphasise and advance the use of sport as a vehicle to foster sustainable development, acknowledging the role played by sport and the Olympic Movement.
The Resolution was adopted on the occasion of the presentation of the biennial report of the UN Secretary General on sport for development and peace. The report calls upon Member States to further the work on sport for development and peace at all levels, promote policy coherence, and foster existing national policies and government-supported programmes that leverage sport as a tool for social or economic development, and it recognises the important role played by the IOC and sports organisations in this field.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, explicitly stressed the role of sport in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Now, with this Resolution, the UN is reiterating its call to Member States to leverage sport to achieve the SDGs, working in collaboration with all the interested stakeholders, including the sports community, civil society, international organisations and business companies.
The Resolution points out the “invaluable contribution of the Olympic and Paralympic movements in establishing sport as a unique means for the promotion of peace and development, in particular through the ideal of the Olympic Truce, acknowledging the opportunities provided by past Olympic and Paralympic Games”.
It affirms the contribution of sport in promoting tolerance and respect and empowering women and young people, individuals and communities. The document also places a spotlight on the impact sport has on health, education, social inclusion and the fight against corruption, encouraging governments’ efforts to focus on these topics.
Just as importantly, the Resolution again supports “the independence and autonomy of sport as well as the mission of the International Olympic Committee in leading the Olympic Movement and of the International Paralympic Committee in leading the Paralympic Movement” in an effort to guarantee its universality.
“We welcome the Resolution approved today by the United Nations, as it reaffirms the universality of sport and its unifying power to foster peace, education, gender equality and sustainable development at large,” IOC President Thomas Bach commented. “With its global reach, and its impact on communities and in particular on young people, sport can bring inclusion and empower people all over the world. Thanks to the UN, we now have a strong tool that encourages states and sports organisations to work together and develop concrete best practices. We want the Olympic Movement to be a driving force for a sustainable future for everyone.”
The universality of sport means that the IOC and the Olympic Movement have a special responsibility to promote a sustainable future for our world. This is why sustainability is one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. The IOC has recently published its first Sustainability Report, which reports the progress made on the 18 objectives to be achieved by 2020 across all of the IOC’s spheres of responsibility: as the leader of the Olympic Movement, as the owner of the Olympic Games and as an organisation.
Resolution A/RES/72/24: https://www.un.org/en/ga/73/resolutions.shtml
Source: 3 December 2018, International Olympic Committee
Former Fifa executive says he was offered large bribe for 2018 World Cup vote
A former Fifa executive said he was offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for his vote for the 2018 World Cup, newly released US court documents show. Rafael Salguero, a Guatemalan football administrator who served on Fifa’s executive committee, pled guilty to multiple corruption charges in 2016 as part of the US government’s sprawling investigation into world football’s governing body. But a transcript of his plea hearing in a Brooklyn federal court was only released on Tuesday with the former official expected to be sentenced this week.
The redacted transcript reveals that Salguero told the court he was approached by an individual in 2010 who offered him “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in exchange for his vote. Salguero said he was approached on a flight from Mexico to Guatemala by an individual whose name is also redacted in the transcript. Salguero said he met with the unnamed person multiple times after their first encounter to discuss the bribe. The transcript redacts the name of the bid Salguero was told to vote for and the name of another individual, based in Italy, who had offered to provide the cash.
The 2018 World Cup was eventually hosted by Russia following a 2010 vote at Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich. The results were mired with controversy following allegations of corruption in both Russia’s 2018 bid and Qatar’s successful bid for the 2022 tournament. Russia, England and joint bids from the Netherlands and Belgium, and Portugal and Spain were considered for the 2018 World Cup.
According to the newly released transcript, Salguero told the court in 2016 that although he voted for the bid he was told to, he never received the money and did not make a trip to Italy as was suggested by the unnamed individual offering the bribe.
“About three or four weeks after the vote I tried calling [redacted] at the cell phone number he had given me, but he never picked up or returned the call. I tried to contact [redacted] because I wanted to tell him that I had voted for [redacted] and I wanted to meet [redacted] in Italy to collect this money that [redacted] said [redacted] had for me,” Salguero said, adding that his calls were not returned.
Over 40 individuals and entities were indicted as part of the the US Justice Department’s investigation into Fifa with over two dozen pleading guilty. In the first case, which was brought to trial last year, the former heads of the Paraguayan and Brazilian football federations were found guilty on multiple corruption charges. The trial also revealed evidence of bribes to Fifa officials associated with Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid.
Source: Oliver Laughland in New York, 4 December 2018, The Guardian
Kenyan National Olympic Committee secretary general steps down over corruption cases linked to Rio 2016
Francis Paul Kanyili has stepped down as secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) over corruption cases linked to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Kanyili was one of seven men accused of misappropriating public funds during Rio 2016. Detectives have long been seeking to establish whether there is evidence that they either misused or stole money allocated to the Kenyan team that travelled to Brazil two years ago.
It follows the country's Olympic Games Probe Committee revealing that the Sports Ministry had signed a ticketing deal with a Kenyan-based travel agency to offer tickets at a higher price than usual. Among the other allegations are purchasing of air tickets which were not utilised amounting to KES16.9 million (£128,000/$165,000/€145,000), overpaying allowances amounting to KES15.9 million (£120,000/$155,000/€136,000) and incurring expenditure on unauthorised persons amounting to KES6.6 million (£50,000/$64,000/€56,000).
NOCK President Paul Tergat confirmed that Kanyili had stepped down and promised to respond in transparent manner on any issues the courts and investigators will seek from the governing body. Kanyili’s assistant Francis Mutuku has since replaced him. [...]
Source: Daniel Etchells, 22 November 2018, Inside the Games
FIFA suspends judge Sundra Rajoo after corruption arrest
FIFA ethics committee judge Sundra Rajoo has been suspended after being arrested over allegations of corruption in Malaysia. Dr Rajoo, who was appointed deputy chairman of the FIFA independent Ethics Committee's Adjudicatory Chamber last year, was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission after returning from FIFA business in Zurich on Tuesday night.
In a statement released on Wednesday, FIFA said that "Mr Rajoo will not be involved in any further activities" while the investigation was being carried out. It did not give further details of the investigation or the accusations against Rajoo, who could not be immediately reached for comment. Rajoo's lawyer, Cheow Wee, said a court refused a request for a seven-day remand order against Rajoo, and that he was later released unconditionally.
"The judge agreed with our position that he (Rajoo) has diplomatic immunity and privileges," Cheow said. "He cannot be arrested nor detained, and isn't subjected to our criminal jurisdiction."
The lawyer said the MACC sought Rajoo's remand to protect and continue its investigation into allegations the ethics judge accepted and used his office for financial favours. Rajoo resigned from his position with the Asian International Arbitration Centre on Wednesday. FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Rajoo's status within the world soccer body's judicial system. The MACC could not immediately be reached for comment.
Since Rajoo joined the football government body, ethics judges have passed several life bans on football officials implicated in bribery by a sprawling US Department of Justice investigation. FIFA's ethics committee was set up in 2012 and banned dozens of officials following a corruption scandal in 2015, which also included around 40 soccer officials being indicted in the United States.
In May 2017, FIFA president Gianni Infantino oversaw the removal of the previous chairmen of the investigation and judging panels. At that time, the head of FIFA's governance oversight also had his position taken.
Source: 21 November 2018, SkySports
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