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Global match-fixing: J-League launch investigation, CONCACAF's new Competition Integrity Measures, and Australia propose new legislation

Monday, 17 March 2014

This week's recap features a number of articles related to match-fixing in sports besides football including cricket, rugby and e-sports. This further proves that match-fixing and corruption in sport is a global problem, requiring the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders from sport, law enforcement, government and the gaming sector to effectively combat.


Current investigation


Japan's professional football league has said an internal probe turned up no evidence to support suspicions that a recent match was fixed, as it wrestles with an embarrassing racism scandal. The J-League launched an investigation earlier this month after a FIFA unit said it had noticed unusual online betting patterns in a March 8 game between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Kawasaki Frontale. Betting on football is legal in Japan. But FIFA's Early Warning System, launched in 2007 to fight corruption in world football, spotted an abnormal rise in bets that Kawasaki would lead the match at half-time, with its rival prevailing by the final whistle. That turned out to be a profitable bet: Sanfrecce overcame a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat Kawasaki 2-1. After questioning players, coaches, officials, referees and other people involved in the match, the league said in a statement on its website Tuesday that there was "no trace at all" of match-fixing.

Source: "Japan football's J-League denies match-fixing", 19 March 2014, AFP

Korea (Rep. of)

The Korea eSports Association have finished their investigation into the testimony of professional League of Legends player Promise, who attempted suicide last week after revealing the extent of match fixing within AHQ Korea. After examining replays and audio files from Ongamenet and speaking to Promise’s former teammates, KeSPA have reported that his account of player coercion was mostly accurate - and will file a lawsuit against AHQ’s coach. In spring 2013, AHQ Korea coach Mr Noh gathered his players together. The team had advanced to the round of 16 stage of OGN Champions, one of South Korea’s most prestigious tournaments. Mr Noh, it is alleged, told his team that OGN had a tradition of taking an ‘advertisement fee’ from large qualifying eSports companies like AHQ. Noh said that, amid some language difficulties, he had refused to pay - and as a result, OGN were demanding that AHQ must throw their games against certain other Champions teams. AHQ weren’t convinced. But according to KeSPA’s report, two of its players - Promise and ActScene - later agreed in private to help fix two upcoming matches against KTB and CJ Frost. They would do so in exchange for some of the money Noh said he had received from OGN. Player testimony has led KeSPA to conclude that only Promise took part in the match fixing. The organisation are in the process of filing a lawsuit against Mr Noh, and plan to use the details of their report as evidence in a case against him.

Source: Jeremy Peel, "KeSPA confirm AHQ League of Legends team were coerced into match fixing by coach", 19 March 2014, PCGamesN


Former KL player Hafizi Roslee, who was banned for life by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for his alleged involvement in match-fixing, will have his civil dispute heard at the High Court next month. Judicial Commissioner Rosilah Yop set April 23 to hear the matter. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Hafizi’s lawyer Kevin De Rozario said his client was suing FAM not for damages but to get a court order to declare that the disciplinary codes were unfair. He said JC Rosilah ordered the parties to file their affidavits by March 31 and hand over the respective written submissions by April 17. In the lawsuit filed on Feb 26, the 29-year-old former defender has named FAM and Kuala Lumpur Football Association as defendants. Hafizi is seeking a declaration that he is not bound by an FAM notice dated Dec 4 last year and that disciplinary proceedings conducted by it without his presence on Dec 20 last year was to be struck off and rendered invalid. He wants to get a declaration that the court has the jurisdiction based on equity and natural justice to quash or strike out Articles under the FAM’s disciplinary code which was unconstitutional.

Source: "Ex-footballer has April 23 hearing against FAM", 18 March 2014, The Star Online

Good practice 


CONCACAF has introduced a set of Competition Integrity Measures to tackle match-fixing. They are now being conducted before every CONCACAF tournament and competition. Titled 'Protect Yourself and Keep Your Sport Clean' the programme debuted at this year's CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands and is currently being implemented in the CONCACAF Champions League. The measures have also been adopted by the Caribbean Football Union for its competitions. The educational programme is primarily based on prevention of match fixing but carries information on how to report incidents and details of contact officials on-site. The educational programme reinforces the regulations which outlaw betting on football matches by players and officials, and emphasises that the communication of sensitive inside information to anyone outside the club is forbidden.

Source: Paul Nicholson, "CONCACAF battles match-fixers with new protocol and educational programme", 17 March 2014, Inside World Football educational-programme


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