Sports Law

Subscribe to Sports Law feed
Updated: 5 hours 13 min ago

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 8-22 June 2020

Tue, 2020-06-23 07:33
INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 8-22 June 2020 INVESTIGATIONS Algeria Football. Algérie : un dirigeant et un agent écroués pour des soupçons de matches arrangés

Fahd Halfaia, directeur général de l’ES Sétif et un agent de joueurs, Nassim Saâdaoui, ont été écroués après avoir été inculpés par un juge d’instruction d’un tribunal d’Alger. Ils ont été entendus dans le cadre d’une enquête sur une affaire de matches truqués qui secoue le pays depuis la mi-mai, après la divulgation d’une conversation téléphonique entre les deux hommes, selon la même source.

Nassim Saâdaoui a été inculpé d’atteinte à la liberté d’autrui, diffamation, et enregistrement d’appel téléphonique sans consentement, alors que le patron de l’ES Sétif est poursuivi pour marchandage de matches, a précisé la même source. Cette affaire a éclaté après la diffusion sur les réseaux sociaux d’un enregistrement sonore impliquant les deux hommes et d’autres patrons de clubs de première division.

Le directeur général de l’ES Sétif conteste l’authenticité de cet enregistrement alors que Nassim Saâdaoui s’est défendu devant la justice en affirmant ignorer qu’il était d’interdit d’enregistrer des conversations téléphoniques. Mon but était de me protéger et prouver mon innocence dans ce marchandage de matches, a-t-il plaidé, selon l’agence algérienne. En mai 2019, deux hommes avaient été mis en examen en France pour des soupçons de matches arrangés impliquant cette même équipe de l’ES Sétif.

Lors d’un match entre le DRB Tadjenanet et l’ES Sétif, le 12 mai 2018, un opérateur avait signalé de nombreux paris atypiques passés sur un score exact avec des mises importantes par rapport aux mises habituelles, selon la justice française.

Ces « paris atypiques » avaient aussi été repérés par le système de surveillance de l’Autorité de régulation des jeux en lignes (Arjel). La rencontre s’était soldée par une victoire 3-2 du DRB Tadjenanet contre l’ES Sétif. Sur les cinq buts, trois avaient été inscrits sur penalty.

En 2018, la BBC avait diffusé une enquête avec des témoins anonymes décrivant la corruption comme un phénomène répandu dans le football algérien. Le Championnat algérien a été suspendu en mars en raison de la pandémie de Covid-19. Fin mai, la fédération algérienne de football (FAF) s’est déclarée favorable à une reprise du Championnat, qui demeure tributaire d’un feu vert du gouvernement.

Source: 8 June 2020,

Ouest France

Football

https://www.ouest-france.fr/sport/football/football-algerie-un-dirigeant-et-un-agent-ecroues-pour-des-soupcons-de-matches-arranges6861585#:

India Majority of ICC’s ongoing 50 fixing cases linked to corruptors in India: Official

Did the wide-ranging fallout of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal work as a deterrent against corruption in Indian cricket? Not so, say anti-corruption (ACU) officials in the sport.

These officials say the corruptors now look to target the state leagues as well as lesser known live competitions - smaller in scale and involving more vulnerable players. “We have 50 investigations that we are undertaking and majority have links to corruptors in India,” Steve Richardson, coordinator of investigations, International Cricket Council ACU said in a webinar on Sports Law and Policy on Saturday.

Of late, no high-profile Indian cricketer may have come under the lens, but the player-bookie nexus goes unabated, he said. “Players are the final link in the chain. Problem is with people who organise corruption, who pay the players; who sit outside the sport. I can deliver eight names to Indian governing agencies who are serial offenders and constantly approach the players,” Richardson added.

But for Covid 19 applying the brake on all state leagues, many of them would have been on by now. The Karnataka Premier League (KPL) remains suspended and police investigations are on after some players and a team owner were charged with fixing. “The police has filed partial charge-sheets in KPL matter. We are in the process of examination of that evidence,” BCCI ACU head Ajit Singh said.

“The entire malice emanates from (illegal) betting. Just to make windfall gains illegally through betting, they approach participants (players, support staff, officials, franchise owners) and the amount of money involved is unimaginable - an annual turnover of R30,000-40,000 crore; including sports and other activities. In state leagues, we got betting examined on certain matches and we discovered it comes to the tune of more than 2 million pounds per match,” said Singh.

ACU officials say nothing will change until match-fixing is made a criminal offence in India. “Sri Lanka was the first nation that brought a match-fixing law. For that reason, Sri Lanka cricket is better protected now. In Australia’s case, we are very proactive. At the moment, with no legislation in place in India, they are operating with one hand tied up,” said Richardson.

A robust law would also help protect ICC events better. “In Australia, they can stop someone coming to their country before the tournament. India too has ICC events coming up with the T20 World Cup (2021) and the 2023 ODI World Cup. Legislation would be a game changer.”

Singh said there would be a strong deterrent if the pending Prevention of Sports Fraud bill became law. “Fans put in a huge amount of emotion and this (fixing) happens… It starts at an early stage; those who are in sports betting nurture these players and start using them later for fixing. It needs to be curbed. For that you need a strong law. Currently it is archaic, and some of the conditions are laughable.”

Source: 20 June 2020,

Hindustan times

Cricket

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/on-this-day-sourav-ganguly-smashed-ton-on-test-debut-at-lord-s/story-BMym25JxJDR3jrTvoUVE3J.html

Sri Lanka Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister backs his allegations made on match-fixing in 2011 World Cup final

The match on April 2, 2011, is one for folklore in the history of Indian cricket, as the ‘Men in Blue’ went on to win their third World title.

India chased down 275 set by Sri Lanka, thanks to vital contributions from Gautam Gambhir (97) and captain MS Dhoni (91 not out).

However, the Islander’s defeat did not go down well with the Lankan cricketing fraternity, as many, including former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, demanded an investigation of the summit clash.

One of the many voices which were vocal was that of former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. During his interview with local TV channel ‘Sirasa’, Aluthgamage claimed that the final was fixed.

Now, the current Sri Lanka Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma initiated the investigation and demanded a report explaining progress every week. On the other hand, sports secretary KADS Ruwanchandra, on Alahapperuma’s directive, has complained to the ministry’s investigation unit.

However, the allegations did not go down well with the former Lankan legends, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

Sangakkara was the captain of the Lankan side then while Jayawardena smashed a memorable ton in the finals at Wankhede.

“Is the elections around the corner…like the circus has started…names and evidence,” Jayawardena responded with his tweet.

Responding to Sangakkara and Jayawardene’s tweets, the former sports minister said that he lodged a complaint to ICC in 2012 regarding the matter and is still awaiting a response.

“The team who played the final match was not the team we had selected, finalized and sent off. At the last moment, without the consultation of either me as the then minister of Sports or officials of the Sri Lanka Cricket Control Board, four new players had been included to the team,” Aluthgamage told Daily Mirror.

“We saw this only when we watched the match. How could four players get replaced without due approvals and consultations? The new players were inexperienced compared to the rest of the team. Why did they do that out of the blue?” added the former minister.

Further, Aluthgamage revealed that an Indian newspaper knew about the changes in the Sri Lankan team on the eve of the final, while the sports minister was not intimated.

“Mahela has said that the circus has started. I don’t understand why Sanga and Mahela are making a big deal about this. I am not referring to any of our players. Everyone is talking about just two minutes of a half an hour interview I gave to a TV channel. Even Arjuna Ranatunga has openly talked about match-fixing issues earlier,” concluded Aluthgamage.

Source: 20 June 2020,

The Cricket Times

Cricket

https://crickettimes.com/2020/06/former-sri-lanka-sports-minister-backs-his-allegations-made-on-match-fixing-in-2011-world-cup-final/

United Kingdom Port Talbot: Crown Prosecution Service ends match-fixing investigation

The Crown Prosecution Service says that 11 people arrested over alleged match-fixing in a Welsh Premier League match in 2016 will not face criminal charges.

No-one has been charged since betting patterns on the Port Talbot Town v Rhyl match led to a police investigation.

Port Talbot lost 5-0 to Rhyl, who had not won in 17 games, on 9 April 2016

South Wales Police submitted a file to the CPS which has considered the evidence and determined that "the legal test for a prosecution was not met"

In a statement Port Talbot Town Football Club welcomed the outcome of the investigation, adding: "The impact of the original allegations on the club has been significant and caused a great deal of hardship over the last five years as a result.

"However, we are now keen to move on from this," said the statement, "and continue the excellent rebuilding work already in progress."

South Wales Police said in a statement that "there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges in this case"

"South Wales Police has concluded its investigation into allegations of match-fixing of a Welsh Premier League fixture involving Port Talbot Town Football Club," South Wales Police said.

"A file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which was reviewed in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and the decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges in this case."

South Wales Police's economic crime unit started the investigation after receiving information from the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Gambling Commission.

Eight men and three women - including players, staff and associates - were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

At the time, Rhyl had not won a league match since they beat Airbus Broughton UK 1-0 on 23 October 2015

Port Talbot were one place and 12 points ahead of Rhyl and had beaten them 4-0 less than two weeks before the match in question.

In a statement, the CPS told BBC Wales: "South Wales Police submitted a file to us to consider offences of Conspiracy to Defraud. We determined that, having considered all the evidence, the legal test for a prosecution was not met."

The FAW said in a statement: "The FAW is aware of the decision made by the CPS. We take allegations of match-fixing very seriously

"As the South Wales Police and the CPS have concluded their investigations, we will now continue with our own investigation and consider the allegations in accordance with the rules and regulations of the FAW."

The Gambling Commission says it does not comment on individual cases.

Source: 15 June 2020,

BBC Sports

Football

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/52996844

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS Nepal  Apex court acquits Nepali footballers of match-fixing, treason

The Supreme Court today acquitted former national football team skipper Sagar Thapa and five other players of treason and match-fixing in national and international games.

The division bench of justices Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Bam Kumar Shrestha upheld the Special Court’s order after the government had moved the Supreme Court. The Special Court had acquitted Thapa, his deputy Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa, former national team defender Bikash Singh Chhetri and coach Anjan KC, along with physio Dejib Thapa, on 7 June 2018.

“The truth prevailed today and we got justice from the Supreme Court as well,” Thapa wrote on his Facebook post immediately after the verdict.

“Now, who will be accountable for our lost time and efforts, the government or the ANFA?” he asked.

Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range had arrested the footballers from the valley on 14 October 2015 on the eve of the Dashain vacation and presented them before the Special Court on 27 October 2015. The Office of the Attorney General had booked them for treason as per Section 3.3.1 of the Crime Against State and Punishment Act-1989.

KMPR had claimed that the footballers had received $3,061 to $5,000 in matches of Merdeka Cup, Nehru Cup, SAFF Championship, Asian Games and international friendlies between 2008 and 2014.

The All Nepal Football Association and Asian Football Confederation also provisionally suspended the accused players from football-related activities, while the AFC banned them for life on 4 December 2015.

The then national team vice-captain Sandip Rai said they were glad that the apex court had cleared them of charges.

“The Special Court had cleared us two years ago and it took another two years at the Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court verdict, we can appeal to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sports against our life ban,” said Rai.

Rai is miffed at ANFA for abandoning them for six years. “ANFA treated us as traitors who destroyed the nation,” he added.

“After getting the Supreme Court clearance, we hope that ANFA will approach us and help us in our bid to appeal at FIFA and CAS against the life ban,” he added

Source: 17 June 2020, The Himalayan Times Football https://thehimalayantimes.com/sports/apex-court-acquits-nepali-footballers-of-match-fixing-treason/

Tennis Integrity Unit Venezuelan match official Armando Alfonso Belardi Gonzalez suspended and fined for corruption offences

Venezuelan match official Armando Alfonso Belardi Gonzalez has been suspended for two years and six months and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of committing breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

$4,000 of the fine is suspended on condition that he commits no further breaches of the TACP

The disciplinary case was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Prof Richard McLaren who, after considering the evidence obtained by a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation, found that Mr Gonzalez had:

failed to report two approaches he received in 2018 soliciting him to become involved in a corrupt scheme to manipulate match scores entered into his PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) device. Although he did not act on the approaches, his failure to disclose them to the TIU constituted a corruption offence failed to fully co-operate with a TIU investigation into the allegations against him

As a result of the sanction imposed, and with effect from 18 June 2020, he is prohibited from officiating in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis, for the duration of the two years and six months ban.

Mr Gonzalez, 40, has been a Bronze Badge chair umpire since March 2013.

The relevant Sections of the 2018 and 2019 TACP covering the offences are as follows:

Section D.2.b.i: “In the event any Related Person or Tournament Support Person is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Related Person or Tournament Support Person to (i) influence or attempt to influence the outcome of any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Related Person’s or Tournament Support Person’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible.”

Section F.2.c: “If the TIU believes that a Covered Person may have committed a Corruption Offense, the TIU may make a Demand to any Covered Person to furnish to the TIU any object or information regarding the alleged Corruption Offense, including, without limitation, (i) personal devices (including mobile telephone(s), tablets and/or laptop computers), (ii) access to any social media accounts and cloud storage held by the Covered Person (including provision of user names and passwords); (iii) hard copy or electronic records relating to the alleged Corruption Offense (including, without limitation, itemized telephone billing statements, text of SMS and WhatsApp messages received and sent, banking statements, Internet service records), computers, tablets, hard drives and other electronic information storage devices, and (iv) a written statement setting forth the facts and circumstances with respect to the alleged Corruption offense. The Covered Person shall furnish such information immediately, where practical to do so, or within such other time as may be set by the TIU….”

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to betting-related corruption in professional tennis.

Source: 19 June 2020,

Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://elinkeu.clickdimensions.com/m/1/84431288/p1-b20171-fe38c31f6b614d14a3da1230da41710e/1/50/2d74c592-62fd-473f-b862-8fca21d6aabd

LEGISLATION Greece Greece ratified CETS 215

On Tuesday 16 June 2020, Ambassador Panayiotis BEGLITIS, Permanent Representative of Greece, ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (CETS 215) in the presence of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. The Convention will enter into force with regard to Greece on 1 October 2020. Greece is the 7th member state to ratify the Convention, along with Italy, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine. 31 other states have signed it. The first meeting of the Convention Monitoring Committee will take place on 8 and 9 October 2020 in Strasbourg

Source: 16 June 2020,

Council of Europe

All Sports

https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/newsroom/-/asset_publisher/x9nLQ8ukPUk9/content/greece-ratified-cets215?inheritRedirect=false&redirect=https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/newsroom%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_x9nLQ8ukPUk9%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_ p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-4%26p_p_col_count%3D1

Pakistan Bill criminalising ‘corruption in sports’ presented in National Assembly

A new bill entitled "Prevention of offences in sports act 2020" has been presented in the National Assembly, in order to tackle corruption in sports by drafting laws against it.

Member of the National Assembly Iqbal Mohammad Ali, who presented the bill in the Assembly, shared the details about its progress with Express News.

“We were working on this bill for the past few months. Due to the budget, there was no discussion on it till now. However, in the next meeting, I will inform the members [of the National Assembly] about the benefits of this bill. We have also forwarded the copy of this bill to the PCB chairman,” said Ali.

According to the bill, a special unit will be setup, which will investigate claims related to corruption according to the criminal act. Offences related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs.100 million or both together.

Similarly, if someone from a sports body is found to be involved in corruption, then that person will either have to serve a jail sentence of three years or pay a fine of Rs.0.2 million or do both.

The bill also proposes a one-year jail sentence or Rs.0.1 million fine or both to the person, who falsely accuses someone of corruption.

In case of an allegation of corruption being proved, the properties of the accused person and his family will be confiscated.

The bill also proposes to punish curators, umpires and match officials who deliberately misuse their authority for financial or other gains.

It must be noted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had already drafted new laws against match-fixing and forwarded the document to Prime Minister Imran Khan

Source: 19 June 2020, Tribune

All Sports

https://cricketpakistan.com.pk/en/news/detail/bill-criminalising-corruption-in-sports-presented-in-national-assembly

GOOD PRACTICES FIFA FIFA recognised in leading parliamentary report for integrity work at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019

FIFA’s work in the fight against match manipulation has been recognised by a leading report submitted recently to the Council of Europe’s Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur is Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe member Roland Rino Büchel (Switzerland).

Titled ‘Time to act: Europe’s political response to fighting the manipulation of sports competitions’, the report highlights recent steps, best practice and legislation being implemented by governments and other organisations in the fight against match manipulation and highlights the recent FWWC Integrity Task Force implemented for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™.

As part of its commitment to proactively safeguarding football’s integrity, FIFA joined forces with key integrity stakeholders – including the Council of Europe’s Group of Copenhagen (GoC), and particularly the French National Platform; Sportradar; the Global Lottery Monitoring System; and INTERPOL, amongst others – to create the FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force.

The aim of the FWWC Integrity Task Force was to monitor any suspicious activity potentially affecting the integrity of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. In addition, several preventative measures were put in place with confederations and participating member associations before the start of the tournament.

Within the report, the FWWC Integrity Task Force was highlighted as an example of best practice in protecting a major international sport events for the “unprecedented number of stakeholders” that were involved, which included FIFA, Interpol, the Council of Europe, the Group of Copenhagen, law enforcement agencies, betting regulators, all relevant French authorities, Sportradar and the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS).

Speaking on the acknowledgement, Oliver Jaberg, FIFA’s Deputy Chief Legal & Compliance Officer and Director of Integrity & Anti-Doping said:

“The recognition of the work carried out by FIFA and other stakeholders at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 by a Council of Europe parliamentary report is an important acknowledgement of the significant work being carried out in this field.

“As highlighted in the report, FIFA is committed to ensuring a multi-stakeholder approach to protecting its competitions and will continue to work together with governments and key stakeholders at a local, national and international level to combat match manipulation in football.”

Source: 9 June 2020,

FIFA Football

https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/news/fifa-recognised-in-leading-parliamentary-report-for-integrity-work-at-fifa-women

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS GLMS GLMS-EL-WLA Sports Integrity Webinar

Following the unprecedented health crisis unlike one the world has seen in modern history, the global lottery community (Global Lottery Monitoring System – European Lotteries – World Lottery Association) will be organizing its first joint sport integrity webinar in a special 3-hours-a-day format.

The webinar will address the new normal to which the lotteries, the sport movement, the sports betting sector and public stakeholders will have to adapt in a climate that saw the sport ecosystem slowing down or even coming to a halt. During the pandemic, sports betting operators have been proposing bet opportunities on unusual competitions, triggering specific types of investigations and increasing the level of vigilant monitoring and need for closer co-operation with the law enforcement and sports sectors.

Panels and presentations will include information on the monitoring activities and trends over the last three months and how lotteries from East to West and other stakeholders have been dealing with this unprecedented situation.

The sessions will also present industry leaders’ prominent opinions on how the sport movement, law enforcement agencies and lotteries have been working together effectively in investigations and awareness-raising activities, facilitated by GLMS. The webinar will also address the recent growth of the US sports betting sector and the responses to the definition of recovery and post COVID-19 recovery strategies .

Topics: GLMS during the pandemic: Gearing up for a new normal in the world of sports integrity Impact of COVID-19 on the Lottery Sector & Lotteries in the immediate future Working with LEA to combat criminal aspects of sports manipulations Working with the sport movement to protect sports integrity The rise of e-sports amidst COVID-19 Sports betting in the US Sports betting product strategies Th full programme is forthcoming! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloakd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addyd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015 = 'general.secretariat' + '@'; addyd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015 = addyd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015 + 'glms-sport' + '.' + 'org'; var addy_textd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015 = 'general.secretariat' + '@' + 'glms-sport' + '.' + 'org';document.getElementById('cloakd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015').innerHTML += ''+addy_textd4308a27d508412b8f22ad67dcd0a015+'<\/a>';

At a laptop near you!

Source: 8 June 2020,

GLMS

All Sports

https://glms-sport.org/upcoming-events/

MATCH FIXING Global Friendly matches between clubs are wide open for match- fixing

Football matches are coming back after the corona lockdown and so is match-fixing. Steve Menary outlines the problems in stemming the rise of match-fixing in friendly games between clubs: Data scouts with low integrity, lack of monitoring, and federations that do not take responsibility. As football prepares to resume in Europe after the worst of the Covid-19 virus appears to have passed, clubs are beginning their preparations with friendly matches against each other.

After the sport’s enforced absence, these supposedly non-competitive games will be far more important than normal for fans and bookmakers, but also for match-fixers. With little or no football being played during the worst of the virus, match-fixers were left frustrated at the lack of action and the swathe of forthcoming friendlies offer a unique window of opportunity.

Friendly matches are routinely offered on the gambling markets by both more responsible regulated operators and the unlicensed sector, mainly based in Asia, where huge sums are bet on football.

During the worst of the virus, some of the more desperate operators offered bets on soap football. Others offered the Taiwanese university football league or even in some cases bets on deaths from Covid-19. Now, with a rash of friendlies about to be played, well-regulated operators and the unlicensed sector will both have seemingly more credible bets to offer.

However, every year, dozens of European friendly matches come under suspicion for suspicious betting and this trend is rising. In the 2019 edition of the Suspicious Betting Trends in Global Football Report, 2.0 percent of all friendlies analysed in the previous 2018 season were deemed suspicious due to irregular betting movements. The proportion of friendlies deemed suspicious was far higher than the total for all games.

With most leagues cancelled, there has been a surge of matches attracting suspicion in Europe in countries including Armenia and Belarus to Georgia to Russia and Sweden.

Figure 1: Share of suspicious football matches in percent

Match type2017 (%)2018 (%) Friendlies1,202,00 All Games0,730,61

Even more concerning is that players are also reporting fixed matches that do not appear in betting alerts as large amounts of small bets are either placed in High Street bookmakers or on the amorphous Asian markets, where they rarely register. Despite these facts sporting sanctions are rare if non-existent and in many countries, friendly matches are a largely unsanctioned free-for-all often played in an integrity vacuum. Data scouts are key to matchfixing So how does this system work and what can be done about the Wild West world of club football friendlies?

In-play betting on all matches is made possible when data scouts attend matches and relay information about incidents – corners, red cards, goals – to data companies. The data companies then sell this information on in real-time to gambling companies, who offer up these friendly matches for bets.

With league matches, fixtures are easy to locate but friendlies are not publicised in the same way, particularly in eastern Europe. So, local data scouts offer to cover these games both for data companies and Asian bookmakers, who sometimes also send their own scouts to matches.

The data companies and Asian bookmakers are reliant on the integrity of these scouts, who can work with clubs planning a fix. Scouts will offer to cover games to get them onto the gambling markets. Once a game is available for betting with one operator, other bookmakers, particularly in Asia, will then also offer the match to try and avoid losing clients.

In this unregulated environment it can be difficult to trust data scouts as the data company Perform Group (now STATS Perform) learned the hard way in 2015.

That year data scouts were essential in helping to perpetrate a scam during the midwinter break in Belarus where a fictional match – a so-called ghost game – was created to fool bookmakers. After that STATS Perform set up its own system where data scouts are vetted and have contracts that prevent them from working for rival companies.

Scouts are often people doing the job on a part-time basis and can be poorly remunerated. The temptation to trick data companies can be hard to resist, and the consequences can be fatal as Chinese students Zhen Xing Yang and his girlfriend Xi Zhou discovered in 2008.

The pair, who were brutally murdered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England in 2008, were both data scouts and had been delaying transmission of information from English games to Chinese bookmakers by a few seconds so gamblers with knowledge of their activities could bet on events knowing the outcome.

The role of data scouts also came under the spotlight in March 2020 in the Ukraine, where criminal elements arranged and staged ghost games using players pretending to be part of real clubs to fool bookmakers in Asia.

Spotting the fix Before and during games, gambling operators and data companies monitor the odds for games. If the price suddenly shortens, or betting volumes increase for no obvious reason, it suggests a match could have been manipulated and will generate an alert.

On a friendly, this can be more problematic. These matches are not official, so team line-ups are not always available. The strength or weakness of a team is not always clear until after a match kicks off. If the price is then adjusted after kick-off, this can create a sudden shift in the odds and prompt a false alert.

Gambling companies should research suspicious matches. If the gambling companies are regulated and part of a larger body, such as the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) or the Global Lotteries Monitoring System, these bodies will receive information from members about these alerts and information will be passed on to the football authorities.

If the gambling companies are not part of a body like IBIA or simply do not want to co-operate with sports authorities then alerts may not be passed on. Many of the biggest bookmakers operate in Asia and are unregulated as gambling is illegal in a lot of the countries where they are taking bets, usually on football. So, there is no incentive to pass on information about suspicious matches.

Friendlies are mostly ignored by federations After the problems with ghost matches in the Ukraine, UEFA issued a warning about potential problems with friendlies. As part of this warning, UEFA asked national federations if clubs informed them of friendlies.

In Austria, which stages nearly 300 club friendlies every summer, the Austrian football federation regulates friendlies and records all matches. In neighbouring Germany, the Bundesliga and the German Football Association (DfB) also record matches and use separate companies to monitor friendlies played by all clubs in the top two divisions. However, in many other European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, friendlies are virtually ignored.

National federations often only find out about their clubs playing friendlies abroad from social media, or even the websites of online gambling firms as there is little or no organised monitoring of these games for betting alerts in many European countries.

Finding a team line-up for a friendly can also be difficult and compunds the problem as it is difficult to take action against players if you don’t know who they are. Sometimes the location is not even evident, yet thousands of these games are routinely offered by gambling companies, particularly in Asia, where demand for football betting is strongest.

No regulation even though the problem is well known There is no effective regulation of friendly matches, even though football authorities have known about the problems with matchfixing for some time.

For instance, in 2015 the International Centre for Sports Security warned that a series of friendlies played at Marbella in southern Spain had been corrupted. In one game between Belgian club Standard Liege and Heerenveen from the Netherlands, the match had to be abandoned after a series of dubious decisions by the referee. This farrago culminated in the Dutch side’s goalkeeper saving a penalty, which the referee insisted – for no obvious reason – had to be retaken. The goalkeeper responded by walking off the field.

The other team identified in the series of flagged games from 2015 was Albanian club Skenderbeu, that in 2018 were banned for a decade by UEFA, who said that the club had been ‘fixing matches like nobody has done before’.

Last year, Marbella was again the centre of attention for a series of suspicious matches involving Latvian side Ventspils, whose games generated alerts for suspicious betting. In one game with Norwegian FK Jerv, eight of the Latvian players suddenly all attacked leaving their stranded goalkeeper and two defenders to try and repel a series of attacks until the Norwegian side finally won 1-0.

The game was live streamed on the Internet, giving unwitting punters in Asia and the rest of the world the opportunity to bet on a mid-winter training ground friendly between a Latvian club and a Norwegian third division team

The promoters of the game denied all knowledge of match fixing. The Spanish federation, the RFEF, investigated the claims and filed reports to the local police and UEFA, but no action has so far been taken

Taking responsibility After the spate of recent problems in Brazil and the Ukraine, IBIA called on data companies to agree standards for best practice. Leading suppliers Genius and Sportradar were generally supportive and STATS Perform even suggested introducing independent audits.

Tightening data supply standards will help, but sporting federations also need to take responsibility for friendlies. The reason for the lack of action is often identifying who should take responsibility. If two clubs from different countries go to a third country, who is responsible: the countries that the clubs come from or the hosts?

If all three clubs are from the same confederation, then FIFA say the responsibility lies with UEFA but the problem for the European body lies in the transnational nature of the issue, which UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin acknowledged last October.

“Our problem always was and always is that, even if we know many things, each case has to be prosecuted,” said Ceferin.

“The main problem is that our jurisdiction ends at football. We cannot tap phones, we cannot put people in prison, and with many computer servers being 10,000km from Europe, it’s a problem we cannot solve on our own.”

UEFA subsequently began the search for an organisation to carry out a feasibility study into the creation of a new body to tackle integrity. Earlier this year, a candidate was identified but has not been named by UEFA due to what it describes as ‘commercial confidentiality’.

The idea of a sort of World Anti-Doping Association to tackle sporting integrity issues was discussed at Play the Game’s 2019 conference in Colorado Springs. The problem is that UEFA’s 55 member associations would need to vote this through and there are enough that would not want to help create a new integrity body that might start snooping in their affairs.

The creation of a more focused body created solely to focus on match fixing just in Europe has more chance of success, and identifying responsibility for the regulation of friendlies should be one of the first problems to be tackled before the issue comes back to haunt them.

Source: Steve Menary, 22 June 2020, Play the Game Football https://www.playthegame.org/news/comments/2020/1004_friendly-matches-between-clubs-are-wide-open-for-match-fixing/

Pakistan PCB gets Imran Khan''s backing to criminalise match-fixing

Karachi, Jun 17 (PTI) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the patron-in-chief of the country''s cricket board, has approved the PCB''s plan to revise its anti-corruption code and make match-fixing a criminal offence. According to a Pakistan Cricket Board source, the green signal came when PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani met with Imran earlier this week where the premier also gave the clearance for the national team to tour England despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Imran supported the draft copy of the new laws and advised Mani to get it cleared by the Law and other relevant ministries so that it can be tabled in the parliament and become a written law," the source said.

Under the new code, the board intends to criminalise match-fixing and spot-fixing and also specify punishments for offenders, including jail time.

"The new laws would give the PCB''s Anti-Corruption and security unit the power to not only probe money trails and assets off players/officials/persons but also carry out raids where required and file criminal cases," the source said.

"Under the new laws, proven offenders will serve jail time plus the board will get powers to probe all assets and money trails of any player it suspects of being involved in corruption," he added.

Until now, the PCB has implemented the Anti-Corruption code, which is followed by the International Cricket Council. That code does not criminalise corruption in cricket and is limited in its punishments for offenders.

Experts and analysts say that the absence of clear punishments for offenders has encouraged players to still indulge in corruption as they know they can get away with a few years ban and return to playing cricket

Pakistan cricket has reported a number of cases where its players have been found guilty of fixing matches, accepting approaches from bookmakers or not reporting such approaches.

The most recent example being that of Test batsman Umar Akmal who has now filed an appeal against his three-year ban before an Independent adjudicator.

More recently, a court in Manchester in the UK sent Pakistani opener Nasir Jamshed and two other bookmakers from the country to jail for corruption.

The PCB has also banned Jamshed for 10-years. PTI Cor PM PM

Source: 17 June 2020, Outlook The News Scroll Cricket

United Kingdom Criminals Will Use Coronavirus To Fix Soccer Games

Ex-pro Moses Swaibu has a warning for the English soccer authorities. They need to be ready, because the criminals are.

The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic make players more vulnerable to match-fixers looking to influence the outcomes of games.

“Now, more than ever, there's going to be an even bigger threat,” Swaibu tells me.

“People are trying to take a stake in a bad situation, which at the moment happens to be coronavirus.”

The former Crystal Palace academy graduate understands what it is like to be targeted by this criminal element.

Back in 2015, he spent four months in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery, following an investigation into match-fixing and an alleged betting syndicate.

These days he channels those experience into raising awareness and training other young players about the dangers that exist.

But he’s concerned. While Premier League PINC sides are signing up in significant numbers to be educated on the subject, further down the pyramid, where the threat is even greater, awareness is not as good as needs to be.

Source: 15 June 2020,

Forbes Football

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakgarnerpurkis/2020/06/15/criminals-will-use-coronavirus-to-fix-soccer-games/#3c05349473ed

POLICY Council of Europe The Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (the Macolin Convention)

The “Typology Framework of sports manipulations” was elaborated by the Group of Copenhagen for the use of its members. It classifies the different types of competition manipulation that could fall within the definition provided by the article 3 of the Macolin Convention. The Framework promotes clearer communication across the Group of Copenhagen about the types of manipulations that National Platforms will likely encounter. The Framework also provides a basis upon which uniformed statistical information can be collected to help the Group of Copenhagen members identify areas of risk or emerging threats.

Source: 17 June 2020,

Council of Europe

All Sports

https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/typology

CORRUPTION Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) Former IAAF President Diack brands son as "thug" during corruption trial

Former International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) President Lamine Diack has criticised his son at his corruption trial in Paris, branding him "a thug."

Diack, 87, made the remarks about his son Papa Massata under questioning, after claiming he only learned from investigators that his son, who is not present in person at the trial, was involved in doping files, as reported by L'Équipe.

Appearing before the 32nd Chamber of the Paris criminal court, the former boss of the IAAF, now World Athletics, spoke in court today about alleged corruption within the organisation during his tenure at the helm from 1999 to 2015.

Under questioning, Diack refused to establish a clear link between the management of Russian doping cases and funding of $1.5 million (£1.19 million/€1.32 million) to contribute to the defeat of his rival Abdoulaye Wade in the 2012 Presidential election in Senegal.

In relation to the management of the doping cases, Diack told the court that he made the decision to spread out disciplinary sanctions against Russia, claiming he did so in order to protect the IAAF's finances.

"The financial health [of the IAAF] had to be safeguarded, and I was ready to make this compromise," Diack said.

Diack, whose speech was described as "disjointed" during his appearance was also asked about allegations that he obtained Russian funds to support Macky Sall's 2012 bid to become President of Senegal, in exchange for the IAAF's anti-doping arm covering up offences by the country's athletes.

When questioned by judge Rose Marie-Hinault, who is overseeing the trial, on this point Diack's answer was hazy

Referring to the Russians he said: "It was they who asked me if I wanted to be a candidate," before going on to concede that the sum of "1.5 million dollars" was mentioned to the country's then-Minister of Sports Vitali Mutko

Diack claimed that the sum of $1.5 million had come from Russia, and that he sought the amount from the former boss of the Russian Federation of Athletics (ARAF), Valentin Balakhnitchev, who is also on trial as part of the case.

Diack claimed in court that he was not aware of the financial blackmail exercised against doped Russian athletes, who were forced to pay hundreds of thousands of euros to benefit from so-called "total protection."

Prosecutors had claimed that Diack solicited €3.45 million (£3.1 million/$3.9 million) from athletes to conceal their doping offences, allowing them to participate in events like the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

The delay in sanctions against Russian athletes allowed them to participate in these major events, before they were ousted for doping several years later. Diack claimed this was not part of his original plan and that he had obtained guarantees from Balakhnitchev that they did not appear in the doping charts. He went on to highlight the case of one of the athletes, marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, who he claimed "ran and abandoned" at the London 2012 Games.

In response judge Hinault said: "The idea that someone takes part in order not to win is to fake the results, it's not sport!" The case will continue tomorrow with the hearings scheduled to last six days.

Speaking outside the court following the day's proceedings, Diack's lawyer Simon Ndiaye said his client was not intending to be uncooperative by giving limited answers to questions.

"I’m not a doctor but I think that because of his age, there are things he doesn’t fully understand in the questions that are asked of him," Ndiaye said, as reported by the Associated Press.

Ndiaye added that Diack wanted to "clear his name" and denied suggestions that he was unwilling to answer questions about the case.

The other defendants in the case are Papa Massata Diack, Lamine Diack's former advisor Habib Cisse, Gabriel Dolle, the former anti-doping chief at the IAAF, ex-ARAF President Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov, the former head Russian athletics distance coach

Source: 11 June 2020,

Inside the Games Athletics

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1095223/diack-criticises-son-at-corruption-trial

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Prosecutors seek four-year sentence for Lamine Diack

Former IAAF president has attended court in Paris, where he faced corruption and money-laundering charges

French prosecutors have sought a four-year sentence for former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack during his trial in Paris.

Prosecutors also requested that the 87-year-old’s son and co-defendant Papa Massata Diack, a former IAAF marketing consultant, receives a five-year sentence and that both men are fined €500,000 each.

They both faced charges of corruption, money laundering and breach of trust — charges which they deny.

Their co-defendants – former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle and Diack’s former aide Habib Cisse, plus former Russian athletics chief and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev and Russian coach Alexei Melnikov – all also deny their own charges.

While Lamine Diack was in Paris for the trial, Papa Massata Diack remained in their native Senegal, having refused to be extradited to France.

The trial was due to have taken place in January but was delayed due to new evidence.

The verdicts are expected in September.

Lamine Diack was the head of athletics’ world governing body – now known as World Athletics – for 16 years, from 1999 until 2015, when he was succeeded by Seb Coe.

Earlier this year the BBC reported that World Athletics is seeking €41.2m (more than £35m) in compensation from the six defendants due to loss of sponsorship revenue and damage to reputation of the global governing body.

The charges are linked to the Russian doping scandal and last week the BBC reported that Lamine Diack told the court that the handling of Russian doping cases between 2011-2013 was delayed “for the financial health” of the IAAF.

“We were going through a difficult moment financially,” he is quoted as saying.

“My duty was to make sure the IAAF got out of it.”

Source: 19 June 2020,

Athletics Weekly

Athletics

https://www.athleticsweekly.com/athletics-news/prosecutors-seek-four-year-sentence-for-lamine-diack-1039930497/

 

 

The power to end the football season: lessons from the decision in South Shields FC v The FA

Mon, 2020-06-15 03:14
The power to end the football season: lessons from the decision in South Shields FC v The FA

The distinguished arbitral panel, chaired by Lord Dyson with Charles Flint QC and Andrew Green QC, recently delivered its award in the case of South Shields Football Club 1888 Limited v The Football Association Limited.[1] The decision, which considered The FA’s powers to bring the 2019/20 football season to an end for Steps 3 to 7 of the National League System, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, is one of the first to examine the scope of regulatory decision-making in the field of sport in the wake of the current global health crisis. Nick De Marco QC discusses the case, examining:

  • Background
  • The challenge
  • The decision
  • Wider implications of the decision
AuthorNick De Marco QC

Insolvency in the EFL - the Football Creditors Rule and laws protecting players & staff

Fri, 2020-06-12 08:07
Insolvency in the EFL - the Football Creditors Rule and laws protecting players & staff

In relation to the English Football League (EFL), there have been dire warnings that in the absence of a substantially increased contribution from the Premier League, up to 60 clubs could go out of business.[1]

But if a club does enter administration, or still worse liquidation, what claims are available to the players and other employees?  This article by Jeremy Lewis of Littleton Chambers examines:

  • The Football Creditor Rule (FCR)
  • Employee claims not covered by the FCR
  • Payments guaranteed by the State
  • Adoption of employment contracts
  • Crown preference
  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE)
AuthorJeremy Lewis

Can disgruntled football clubs challenge Project Restart? Exploring the duty of ‘utmost good faith’ in the EFL & Premier League

Tue, 2020-06-09 05:27
Can disgruntled football clubs challenge Project Restart? Exploring the duty of ‘utmost good faith’ in the EFL & Premier League

On 28 May 2020, Premier League clubs unanimously decided to return to contact training, in accordance with the Government’s recently published ‘Elite Sport Returning to Training Guidance: Stage Two.’ The following day, it was provisionally agreed that Premier League fixtures would resume on 17 June. Other decisions are proving harder. Clubs are reportedly yet to decide on issues such as whether neutral venues should be used for some matches, whether the number of permitted substitutes should be increased, or whether to pay an estimated £330m rebate to broadcasters.

Divisions in the English Football League are starker. QPR’s chief executive, Lee Hoos, is quoted as saying the club is “appalled by” and “vehemently opposed to” the EFL’s plans to return on 20 June.[1] Reports suggest that at least six promotion-chasing League One clubs are determined to complete the season, whereas other clubs would prefer to terminate the season altogether.[2] Peterborough United, currently in a playoff position, have already threatened legal action should the final table be decided by points-per-game; which – if applied – would push the club out of the playoffs. Relegation-threatened Tranmere Rovers have similarly threatened legal action.

The Premier League and English Football League (“EFL”) rules provide that clubs and the relevant league shall “behave towards each other with ‘utmost good faith”.[3]  But how, if at all, might such a duty bear upon issues such as those identified above? 

This article by Ashley Cukier and Anirudh Mathur of Littleton Chambers explores the duty of ‘utmost good faith’ in the context of the Premier League and EFL Rules.  Specifically, it examines:

  • The corporate framework
  • The duty of utmost good faith
  • Utmost good faith and ‘Project Restart’
AuthorAshley Cukier Anirudh Mathur

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 26 May 2020 - 8 June 2020

Tue, 2020-06-09 02:33
INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 26 May 2020 - 8 June 2020 INVESTIGATIONS Sri Lanka Three cricketers under ICC investigation for match-fixing: Sri Lanka Sports Minister

At least three Sri Lankan cricketers are being currently probed by the International Cricket Council for match-fixing, Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said here on Wednesday. Alahapperuma did not mention if they were former or current players. “We are sorry to see that sports had fallen short of discipline and character,” he said. However, Sri Lanka Cricket insisted no current players were involved in the ICC investigation. “SLC strongly believes that what the honourable minister actually mentioned was about an investigation launched by the ICC anti-corruption unit against three former Sri Lanka players and not the current national players,” a SLC statement said.

Commenting on the drug charge faced by fast bowler Shehan Madushanka, Alahapperuma said “it was sad and the country had placed high hopes on him”. Madushanka was detained by Sri Lankan police last week on charge of possessing heroin. Subsequently, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) suspended his contract. Alahapperuma said the government would soon focus on the dropping standards of cricket at the school level.

It has come to light that schools are no longer producing quality players. At a recent meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, greats such as Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya highlighted the need to resurrect cricket at the grass-root level.

Source: 4 June 2020,

Hindustan times

Cricket

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/three-cricketers-under-icc-investigation-for-match-fixing-sri-lanka-sports-minister/storyYDreTBerjxyzDAquMqLugI.html

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS Australia Brisbane greyhound Trainer disqualified for life

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards have disqualified a Brisbane greyhound racing Trainer for life on corruption, match fixing and drugs breaches. The QRIC imposed an interim suspension of Victor Osborn’s licence to train in February last year pending the outcome of Queensland Racing Crime Squad criminal charges against him.

Mr Osborn was prosecuted in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in August last year after he pleaded guilty to five criminal offences under the Criminal Code, the Drugs Misuse Act, the Health (drugs and poisons) Regulation and the Racing Integrity Act. QRIC Stewards concluded an Inquiry on 15 May 2020 in Mr Osborn’s absence after several failed attempts to contact him.

Mr Osborn was found guilty of three breaches of the rules of racing:

• GAR 86(o) On 16 January 2019 and 3 February 2019 Mr Osborn had in the opinion of Stewards done a thing that is corrupt, in approaching a Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club employee, with the intent to procure them to engage in match-fixing. • GAR 86(q) On 16 January 2019 and 3 February 2019 Mr Osborn engaged in conduct that was detrimental to the interest, welfare, image, control and promotion of greyhound racing. • GAR 79A(7) On 4 February 2019, Mr Osborn was found to have in his possession at his registered address, the permanently banned substance Myo-Inositol Trispyrophosphate (ITPP).

Stewards handed down two life disqualifications and a five year disqualification noting the moral abhorrence and seriousness of his conduct which jeopardised racing integrity.

Source: 1 June 2020,

The Sports integrity Initiative Racing

https://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.com/brisbane-greyhound-trainer-disqualified-for-life/

Haiti FIFA suspends Haiti football chief accused of rape

FIFA on Monday suspended the president of Haiti's football federation for 90 days pending an investigation into allegations he sexually abused teenage girls at the national training center.

Yves Jean-Bart, 73, categorically denies accusations that he raped several young female footballers at a training facility outside Port-au-Prince over the course of the past five years.

"In accordance with articles 84 and 85 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has provisionally banned Mr Yves Jean-Bart, President of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF), from all footballrelated activities at both national and international level, for a period of 90 days," FIFA said Monday in a statement. "This sanction has been imposed in connection with ongoing investigations concerning Mr Jean-Bart. Mr Jean-Bart was notified of the decision today. The provisional sanction comes into force immediately."

Haitian police have launched a probe into the allegations, first revealed late last month, and a judge has already summoned several federation employees to answer questions.

According to young women quoted in an article published by The Guardian in late April, Jean-Bart raped multiple underage players over the years.

Saying they had been pressured to remain silent, the alleged victims told the newspaper on condition of anonymity that at least two underage players had to get abortions after Jean-Bart assaulted them.

"We think that this is a good decision by FIFA because we realized that Yves Jean-Bart and his cartel can overshadow any judicial investigation," said Marie-Rosy Auguste Ducena of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH).

Criticizing the code of silence that she says hangs over the sports industry, Ducena noted that "rumors of sexual bargains for football benefits have been circulating in the country for a long time." Jean-Bart has led the country's football federation for two decades. His re-election in February for a sixth term was a mere formality -- he ran unopposed.

When contacted by AFP for comment, he did not respond

Source: 26 May 2020,

The Jakarta Post

Football

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/05/26/fifa-suspends-haiti-football-chief-accused-of-rape.html

BETTING National Rugby League’s (NRL) Two Men Charged In Australian Illegal Betting Investigation

The New South Wales Police have arrested two men in connection to an alleged illegal betting scheme for the National Rugby League’s (NRL) Dally M Medal, which recognizes the league’s top coach. These men run a sports technology company that is contracted with the NRL to handle confidential information, and they allegedly used insider knowledge to place wagers. Illegal betting like this happens all over the world, but the only way to monitor for and prevent it is by legalizing and regulating sports betting.

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia – Two individuals have been detained by the New South Wales Police in connection to an illegal betting incident involving the National Rugby League’s (NRL) 2019 Dally M Medal.

The two men, Joshua Wilson and Ben Trevisiol, have been charged with using confidential information to wager on the results of the award, which recognizes the NRL’s top coach of the season.

Wilson and Trevisiol each placed $10,000 bets on Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy, who ultimately won the award.

They allegedly used insider knowledge of the outcome to place these bets, and also allegedly shared this confidential information with others.

Police claim that the two exchanged text messages discussing how much money they would wager on Bellamy, and that these texts indicated that they knew Bellamy would win.

It is unknown if anyone else used this information to place wagers at this time.

Last week, police executed a search warrant on Wilson and Trevisiol’s company StatEdge—a sports technology company that was reportedly used by the Dally M Award judges to cast their votes.

StatEdge also held other contracts with the NRL covering roster changes and junior competitions.

In their statement on the matter, the New South Wales Police compared the incident to “what [they] see in organized crime syndicates.” How Regulated Sports Betting Helps Prevent Suspicious Wagers

This is far from an isolated incident. Thousands of wagers around the world are placed with inside knowledge every year, which completely undermines the integrity of said bets.

But without the proper infrastructure to regulate and monitor sports betting, the vast majority of these illegal wagers go unpunished.

Well-regulated sportsbooks, whether in an online or retail setting, use sophisticated security algorithms to monitor for suspicious betting activity.

Once recorded, this data can be easily shared with authorities to build a case against the offender.

Without legal, regulated sports betting, people will still find ways to place wagers, but there will be no barriers in place to prevent nefarious actors from exploiting insider knowledge or otherwise abusing the system.

Only 18 states have launched legal sports betting and two dozen have passed sports betting legislation, but there are hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in sports betting action in every state.

Without a regulated betting platform, people will simply turn to an unregulated one that is ripe for exploitation.

The only way to prevent illegal betting like the kind Wilson and Trevisiol were allegedly involved in is to bring all sports betting action out into the light where it can be properly monitored and enforced.

Source: 28 May 2020,

Legal Sports Betting

Rugby

https://www.legalsportsbetting.com/news/two-men-charged-in-australian-illegal-betting-investigation/

Vietnam Vietnamese cops bust $2.6bn online gambling ring

Vietnamese police have smashed a massive online card ring with revenues estimated at $2.6 billion, the biggest ever bust of its kind in a country where most gambling is banned but remains rampant.

The site "No Hu" -- roughly translated as 'break the jar' in English -- is wildly popular in Vietnam, with a public fixated by gambling joining on smart phones or desktops.

Players buy credit from agents who pay out in cash if they win, or give loans to punters on a losing streak against collateral like motorbikes and other assets.

There are hundreds of No Hu agents across Hanoi, the capital of the tightly-controlled Communist country, according to a report on Friday detailing the bust in the official newspaper of the city's police force.

Millions of accounts were created for the game and "transactions ran to $110 million a month," the An Ninh Thu Do or "Capital Security Newspaper" said.

The gambling site, which started in 2018, ran several games soaking up money "on an extremely huge scale... (with) a total value estimated at $2.6 billion," the report added.

Sixteen Vietnamese people were arrested in raids, while dozens of mobile phones, ATM cards and SIM cards were also seized.

The report did not say what has happened to the huge sums of money made by the site, which was deactivated on Friday.

"I lost so much money playing games on this site. You might win at first, but the more you play, the more you lose," a player told AFP, requesting not to be named.

Vietnam's communist government has recently started loosening its grip on domestic gambling, allowing Vietnamese to bet in casinos on a trial basis and opening up some sports betting.

However online gambling and private card rooms are banned.

Still, illegal gambling run by both locals and foreigners flourishes.

In July last year, more than 380 Chinese were arrested for taking online wagers from Chinese punters on sports and running an illegal lottery in the country.

And in January this year four people were shot dead at an illegal cockfighting betting ring in southern Vietnam, state media reported, a rare gun homicide in the communist country.

Source: 29 May 2020,

RTL All Sports

https://today.rtl.lu/news/business-and-tech/a/1526041.html

GOOD PRACTICES FIA FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline

Afin de préserver l’intégrité et la réputation du sport automobile et de la mobilité automobile dans le monde, la FIA a mis en place la FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Cette hotline reflète notre approche de tolérance zéro à l’égard des comportements répréhensibles. Elle est à la disposition de toute personne souhaitant faire part de suspicions légitimes, fondées et documentées de comportements répréhensibles :

Violations présumées des principes éthiques de la FIA ; Problèmes présumés liés à l’intégrité du sport et/ou à la manipulation des compétitions ; Violations présumées du Règlement antidopage de la FIA.

Nous étudierons attentivement vos signalements. Soyez assuré(e) qu’une confidentialité totale sera garantie tout au long du processus.

Notre plateforme est disponible 24 heures sur 24, 7 jours sur 7

Si vous désirez en savoir davantage, découvrez ici comment utiliser la FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Si vous souhaitez effectuer un signalement ou simplement poser une question, veuillez accéder à la FIA Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Source: 2 June 2020,

FIA Racing

https://www.fia.com/fr/fia-ethics-and-compliance-hotline

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS GLMS GLMS-EL-WLA Sports Integrity Webinar

Following the unprecedented health crisis unlike one the world has seen in modern history, the global lottery community (Global Lottery Monitoring System – European Lotteries – World Lottery Association) will be organizing its first joint sport integrity webinar in a special 3-hours-a-day format.

The webinar will address the new normal to which the lotteries, the sport movement, the sports betting sector and public stakeholders will have to adapt in a climate that saw the sport ecosystem slowing down or even coming to a halt. During the pandemic, sports betting operators have been proposing bet opportunities on unusual competitions, triggering specific types of investigations and increasing the level of vigilant monitoring and need for closer co-operation with the law enforcement and sports sectors.

Panels and presentations will include information on the monitoring activities and trends over the last three months and how lotteries from East to West and other stakeholders have been dealing with this unprecedented situation.

The sessions will also present industry leaders’ prominent opinions on how the sport movement, law enforcement agencies and lotteries have been working together effectively in investigations and awareness-raising activities, facilitated by GLMS. The webinar will also address the recent growth of the US sports betting sector and the responses to the definition of recovery and post COVID-19 recovery strategies .

Topics:

GLMS during the pandemic: Gearing up for a new normal in the world of sports integrity Impact of COVID-19 on the Lottery Sector & Lotteries in the immediate future Working with LEA to combat criminal aspects of sports manipulations Working with the sport movement to protect sports integrity The rise of e-sports amidst COVID-19 Sports betting in the US Sports betting product strategies Th full programme is forthcoming!

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloake8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addye8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3 = 'general.secretariat' + '@'; addye8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3 = addye8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3 + 'glms-sport' + '.' + 'org'; var addy_texte8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3 = 'general.secretariat' + '@' + 'glms-sport' + '.' + 'org';document.getElementById('cloake8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3').innerHTML += ''+addy_texte8dd726e30218da153c37ec21f498bd3+'<\/a>';

At a laptop near you!

Source: 8 June 2020,

GLMS All Sports

https://glms-sport.org/upcoming-events/

MATCH FIXING China Newbee issue lawyer notice to CDA asking for evidence for the match-fixing allegations

Newbee, The International champion caliber organization, got banned by all major Chinese tournament organizers and got excluded from the Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association(CDA) earlier this month, facing match fixing allegations.

The decision was taken after CDA investigated Newbee’s matches and decided that they were clearly compromising the competitive integrity by being involved in betting on their own games. According to the, the evidence was also sent to Valve and Perfect World, the Chinese publisher for Dota 2, for further actions

However, in the two-week time since CDA made their announcement, no other updates came from the Dota 2 developer. In the meantime, Newbee made public a lawyer letter of demand sent to CDA, as according to the organization they have never been shown the proofs CDA claims to have. More than that, they state that the players interviewed by CDA were threatened during the interviews and tricked to make untruthful and unfavorable statements

Newbee also mentions that the CDA decision was issued to the public view even before the interviews were conducted, which they say it was done to discredit Newbee. “1. It can be deducted from the timeline that the alliance issued the announcement before the interviews were over, which is obviously unconventional and suspected of maliciously discrediting the client;

2. According to the team members, they were intimidated by the other party during the interviews;

3. Throughout the interview process, the team members repeatedly asked the association to provide evidence for the matchfixing allegations but the staff did not show any evidence from beginning to end, while they induced the players to make unfavorable statements with intimidation and temptation;

4. After the interview, each player sent an appeal application to the league twice, but no response was received

The association’s behaviors above have triggered negative comments on our club and members in the public, making the club and members suffer from all kinds of blame. In view of the situation, the club has a reason to believe that there is a possibility that some members in the association were maliciously infringing the reputation of the trustor and our members.

To seek a proper solution, the trustor demands the association to provide the club with the evidence related to the announcement above within 3 days after the association receives this notice and revoke all the relevant announcements CDA have posted online before this whole matter is ascertained.”

Source: 28 May 2020,

VPesports eSports

https://www.vpesports.com/dota2/newbee-issue-lawyer-notice-to-cda-asking-for-evidence-for-the-match-fixing-allegations

China When China went to war on endemic football corruption

When Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the Chinese Super League in November, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago.

Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing

But the haste with which some supporters claimed match-fixing was proof that deep scars remain, a decade after a major crackdown on graft that ensnared a string of leading figures in Chinese football.

Allegations of organized gambling, crooked referees and match-fixing had dogged the sport in the world’s most populous country for years.

Coupled with the national side’s poor performances, fans were disillusioned, attendances suffered and sponsors fled.

It was in this climate in January 2010 that Nan Yong, supremo at the CFA, and two other senior CFA figures were hauled in by police on allegations of bribe-taking and match-fixing.

When police raided a Beijing villa belonging to Nan they discovered gold, diamonds and watches that he confessed he accepted from clubs and referees. In a widening corruption investigation, scores of CFA officials, club executives, referees, players and agents were questioned in the following months.

According to some, the crackdown was at the behest of Xi Jinping, the then vice-president of the country who has since become China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Xi has pledged to make China a leading football power

Source: 26 May 2020,

INQUIRER net

Football

https://sports.inquirer.net/395023/when-china-went-to-war-on-endemic-football-corruption

Global Friendly matches between clubs are wide open for match- fixing

Football matches are coming back after the corona lockdown and so is match-fixing. Steve Menary outlines the problems in stemming the rise of match-fixing in friendly games between clubs: Data scouts with low integrity, lack of monitoring, and federations that do not take responsibility. As football prepares to resume in Europe after the worst of the Covid-19 virus appears to have passed, clubs are beginning their preparations with friendly matches against each other.

After the sport’s enforced absence, these supposedly non-competitive games will be far more important than normal for fans and bookmakers, but also for match-fixers. With little or no football being played during the worst of the virus, match-fixers were left frustrated at the lack of action and the swathe of forthcoming friendlies offer a unique window of opportunity.

Friendly matches are routinely offered on the gambling markets by both more responsible regulated operators and the unlicensed sector, mainly based in Asia, where huge sums are bet on football.

During the worst of the virus, some of the more desperate operators offered bets on soap football. Others offered the Taiwanese university football league or even in some cases bets on deaths from Covid-19. Now, with a rash of friendlies about to be played, well-regulated operators and the unlicensed sector will both have seemingly more credible bets to offer.

However, every year, dozens of European friendly matches come under suspicion for suspicious betting and this trend is rising. In the 2019 edition of the Suspicious Betting Trends in Global Football Report, 2.0 percent of all friendlies analysed in the previous 2018 season were deemed suspicious due to irregular betting movements. The proportion of friendlies deemed suspicious was far higher than the total for all games.

With most leagues cancelled, there has been a surge of matches attracting suspicion in Europe in countries including Armenia and Belarus to Georgia to Russia and Sweden.

Figure 1: Share of suspicious football matches in percent

Match type2017 (%)2018 (%) Friendlies1,202,00 All Games0,730,61

Even more concerning is that players are also reporting fixed matches that do not appear in betting alerts as large amounts of small bets are either placed in High Street bookmakers or on the amorphous Asian markets, where they rarely register.

Despite these facts sporting sanctions are rare if non-existent and in many countries, friendly matches are a largely unsanctioned free-for-all often played in an integrity vacuum.

Data scouts are key to matchfixing So how does this system work and what can be done about the Wild West world of club football friendlies?

In-play betting on all matches is made possible when data scouts attend matches and relay information about incidents – corners, red cards, goals – to data companies. The data companies then sell this information on in real-time to gambling companies, who offer up these friendly matches for bets.

With league matches, fixtures are easy to locate but friendlies are not publicised in the same way, particularly in eastern Europe. So, local data scouts offer to cover these games both for data companies and Asian bookmakers, who sometimes also send their own scouts to matches.

The data companies and Asian bookmakers are reliant on the integrity of these scouts, who can work with clubs planning a fix. Scouts will offer to cover games to get them onto the gambling markets. Once a game is available for betting with one operator, other bookmakers, particularly in Asia, will then also offer the match to try and avoid losing clients.

In this unregulated environment it can be difficult to trust data scouts as the data company Perform Group (now STATS Perform) learned the hard way in 2015.

That year data scouts were essential in helping to perpetrate a scam during the midwinter break in Belarus where a fictional match – a so-called ghost game – was created to fool bookmakers. After that STATS Perform set up its own system where data scouts are vetted and have contracts that prevent them from working for rival companies.

Scouts are often people doing the job on a part-time basis and can be poorly remunerated. The temptation to trick data companies can be hard to resist, and the consequences can be fatal as Chinese students Zhen Xing Yang and his girlfriend Xi Zhou discovered in 2008.

The pair, who were brutally murdered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England in 2008, were both data scouts and had been delaying transmission of information from English games to Chinese bookmakers by a few seconds so gamblers with knowledge of their activities could bet on events knowing the outcome.

The role of data scouts also came under the spotlight in March 2020 in the Ukraine, where criminal elements arranged and staged ghost games using players pretending to be part of real clubs to fool bookmakers in Asia.

Spotting the fix Before and during games, gambling operators and data companies monitor the odds for games. If the price suddenly shortens, or betting volumes increase for no obvious reason, it suggests a match could have been manipulated and will generate an alert.

On a friendly, this can be more problematic. These matches are not official, so team line-ups are not always available. The strength or weakness of a team is not always clear until after a match kicks off. If the price is then adjusted after kick-off, this can create a sudden shift in the odds and prompt a false alert.

Gambling companies should research suspicious matches. If the gambling companies are regulated and part of a larger body, such as the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) or the Global Lotteries Monitoring System, these bodies will receive information from members about these alerts and information will be passed on to the football authorities.

If the gambling companies are not part of a body like IBIA or simply do not want to co-operate with sports authorities then alerts may not be passed on. Many of the biggest bookmakers operate in Asia and are unregulated as gambling is illegal in a lot of the countries where they are taking bets, usually on football. So, there is no incentive to pass on information about suspicious matches.

Friendlies are mostly ignored by federations After the problems with ghost matches in the Ukraine, UEFA issued a warning about potential problems with friendlies. As part of this warning, UEFA asked national federations if clubs informed them of friendlies.

In Austria, which stages nearly 300 club friendlies every summer, the Austrian football federation regulates friendlies and records all matches. In neighbouring Germany, the Bundesliga and the German Football Association (DfB) also record matches and use separate companies to monitor friendlies played by all clubs in the top two divisions. However, in many other European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, friendlies are virtually ignored

National federations often only find out about their clubs playing friendlies abroad from social media, or even the websites of online gambling firms as there is little or no organised monitoring of these games for betting alerts in many European countries.

Finding a team line-up for a friendly can also be difficult and compunds the problem as it is difficult to take action against players if you don’t know who they are. Sometimes the location is not even evident, yet thousands of these games are routinely offered by gambling companies, particularly in Asia, where demand for football betting is strongest.

No regulation even though the problem is well known There is no effective regulation of friendly matches, even though football authorities have known about the problems with matchfixing for some time.

For instance, in 2015 the International Centre for Sports Security warned that a series of friendlies played at Marbella in southern Spain had been corrupted. In one game between Belgian club Standard Liege and Heerenveen from the Netherlands, the match had to be abandoned after a series of dubious decisions by the referee. This farrago culminated in the Dutch side’s goalkeeper saving a penalty, which the referee insisted – for no obvious reason – had to be retaken. The goalkeeper responded by walking off the field.

The other team identified in the series of flagged games from 2015 was Albanian club Skenderbeu, that in 2018 were banned for a decade by UEFA, who said that the club had been ‘fixing matches like nobody has done before’.

Last year, Marbella was again the centre of attention for a series of suspicious matches involving Latvian side Ventspils, whose games generated alerts for suspicious betting. In one game with Norwegian FK Jerv, eight of the Latvian players suddenly all attacked leaving their stranded goalkeeper and two defenders to try and repel a series of attacks until the Norwegian side finally won 1-0.

The game was live streamed on the Internet, giving unwitting punters in Asia and the rest of the world the opportunity to bet on a mid-winter training ground friendly between a Latvian club and a Norwegian third division team. The promoters of the game denied all knowledge of match fixing. The Spanish federation, the RFEF, investigated the claims and filed reports to the local police and UEFA, but no action has so far been taken.

Taking responsibility After the spate of recent problems in Brazil and the Ukraine, IBIA called on data companies to agree standards for best practice. Leading suppliers Genius and Sportradar were generally supportive and STATS Perform even suggested introducing independent audits.

Tightening data supply standards will help, but sporting federations also need to take responsibility for friendlies. The reason for the lack of action is often identifying who should take responsibility. If two clubs from different countries go to a third country, who is responsible: the countries that the clubs come from or the hosts?

If all three clubs are from the same confederation, then FIFA say the responsibility lies with UEFA but the problem for the European body lies in the transnational nature of the issue, which UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin acknowledged last October.

“Our problem always was and always is that, even if we know many things, each case has to be prosecuted,” said Ceferin.

“The main problem is that our jurisdiction ends at football. We cannot tap phones, we cannot put people in prison, and with many computer servers being 10,000km from Europe, it’s a problem we cannot solve on our own.”

UEFA subsequently began the search for an organisation to carry out a feasibility study into the creation of a new body to tackle integrity. Earlier this year, a candidate was identified but has not been named by UEFA due to what it describes as ‘commercial confidentiality’.

The idea of a sort of World Anti-Doping Association to tackle sporting integrity issues was discussed at Play the Game’s 2019 conference in Colorado Springs. The problem is that UEFA’s 55 member associations would need to vote this through and there are enough that would not want to help create a new integrity body that might start snooping in their affairs.

The creation of a more focused body created solely to focus on match fixing just in Europe has more chance of success, and identifying responsibility for the regulation of friendlies should be one of the first problems to be tackled before the issue comes back to haunt them

Source: Steve Menary,

28 May 2020,

Play the Game

Football

https://www.playthegame.org/news/comments/2020/1004_friendly-matches-between-clubs-are-wide-open-for-match-fixing/

CORRUPTION The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Weightlifting: Federation plagued by decades of corruption, says investigation

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) was plagued by decades of corruption orchestrated by autocratic former president Tamas Ajan, said Richard McLaren after he led an independent investigation into the governing body.

McLaren, the Canadian law professor whose findings in July 2016 led to Russia being banned from all international athletic competitions, including the Rio Olympics, told reporters on Thursday that the IWF was rife with corruption.

This included vote buying, doping cover-ups and $10.4 million in cash that cannot be accounted for.

Ajan has denied any wrongdoing.

"I found an organisation that had been subject for close to half a century to an autocratic leader who dictated through various control mechanisms everything that occurred within the organisation," McLaren said in a Zoom conference.

"His (Ajan) obsession with control made it a culture of fear that prevented a vibrant and robust sports administration.

"We found systemic government failures and corruption at the highest level of the IWF."

The 81-year-old Hungarian Ajan had been at the IWF since the mid 70s, serving first as secretary general and then as president from 2000 until his resignation in April.

The 121-page report was both scathing and meticulous in detailing the massive scale of corruption within the IWF while it was ruled by Ajan, who used "the tyranny of cash" as his main control mechanism.

The investigation found the primary sources of this cash were doping fines paid personally to Ajan and withdrawals of large amounts of money from the IWF’s accounts, usually made just prior to major competitions or IWF congresses.

"It is absolutely impossible to determine how much of the cash collected or withdrawn was used for legitimate expenses," said McLaren.

"The McLaren Independent Investigation Team has determined that $10.4 million USD is unaccounted for."

McLaren described the IWF financial records as a "jumble of incomplete and inaccurate figures distorted by a failure to accurately record cash expenditures and revenues and disclose hidden bank accounts by Dr. Ajan".

VOTE BUYING

The investigation found that some of that money was used for vote buying for the President and senior level positions of the Executive Board at the two most recent Electoral Congresses.

During the investigation McLaren's team also uncovered doping infractions with 40 positive adverse analytical findings hidden in the IWF records. These include gold and silver medallists who have not had their samples dealt with.

McLaren said this information had been passed on to WADA for further investigation

The uncovering of 40 doping cases triggered outrage from United States Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart, who noted that Ajan was at one time a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Foundation Board.

 "The investigative report released today is yet another devastating blow to the credibility of sport governance and the global anti-doping system," said Tygart in a statement.

The culture of fear within the IWF continued even after Ajan's resignation.

McLaren said only two of five vice-presidents came forward, two of eight members of the executive board and just one of five presidents of continental federations.

"The appetite for members and stakeholders of the IWF to come forward was practically non-existent," said McLaren

On a visit to IWF headquarters in Budapest, 45 days after Ajan had been suspended, McLaren said his team found the former president still in his office.

"We witnessed him still carrying on with business as usual running the office, organising an executive board meeting having meetings with IWF financial advisors," said McLaren.

The IWF has been in an unwanted spotlight for some time and had its places at the Tokyo Olympics reduced and is only provisionally included on the 2024 Summer Games programme.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had started its own investigation earlier this year, prompting Ajan to resign as an Honorary Member.

The IOC said in statement it would support IWF reforms and work with WADA to determine whether there were any doping cases concerning the Olympic Games.

McLaren's findings could also trigger more investigations and result in criminal charges.

"Any allegations that need to be forwarded to other agencies will be forwarded whether that is WADA or law enforcement," IWF acting president Ursula Papandrea told reporters. "I think the report speaks for itself.

"What I can say is the activities that have been revealed and the behaviour that has occurred is absolutely unacceptable and possibly criminal."

Source: 5 June 2020,

The Guardian

Weightlifting

https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/sports/weightlifting-federation-plagued-by-decades-of-corruption-says-investigation-458193/

World Athletics Ex-athletics chief Diack faces court over corruption

Lamine Diack, the disgraced former head of athletics' world governing body, goes on trial in Paris on Monday facing a potential 10-year prison sentence on charges of accepting millions of dollars to cover up Russian doping tests.

Diack, the Senegalese who was in charge of the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics), between 1999 and 2015, is charged with "giving and receiving bribes", "breach of trust" and "organised money laundering", and is expected to attend court.

The prosecution alleges that Diack, who turns 87 on Sunday, obtained $1.5 million of Russian funds to help back Macky Sall's campaign for the 2012 Senegal presidential election -- which he won -- in exchange for the IAAF's anti-doping arm covering up or delaying offences by 23 Russians.

The aim, prosecutors will say, was to allow the Russians to compete in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

The trial, following a four-year investigation by the French Financial Prosecutor's Office, was originally scheduled to start on January 13, and the charges carry not only a maximum sentence of 10 years' prison but also a heavy fine.

Also appearing in court will be Habib Cisse, Diack's former legal advisor, who is suspected of having acted as an intermediary between the then-IAAF and Russian athletics and having received hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle will also be there, accused of "receiving bribes" amounting to 190,000 euros. Both are French.

- Son's 'central role' -

Missing from the trial, however, will be Diack's son Papa Massata Diack, who handled lucrative contracts for the IAAF. He was implicated through a payment of 450,000 euros from Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova, allegedly to have her blood passport case delayed in order to compete in the 2012 Olympic marathon, as revealed by German TV station ARD in 2014.

Diack junior is accused of playing a "central role" in the network of corruption and is charged with "money laundering", "giving bribes" and "aiding the receiving of bribes". The deal that prosecutors say helped fund the 2012 presidential election campaign of Diack senior's friend Sall also allegedly smoothed the way for negotiations with Russian sponsors and broadcasters before the Moscow world championships. Together, the Diacks are suspected of being at the heart of a web of corruption.

The case is being pursued by the French authorities because the alleged money-laundering happened in France. Lamine Diack has been forbidden to leave France since the investigation began. Papa Massata Diack has been holed up in his native Senegal, out of reach of the French authorities. Papa Massata Diack was, however, questioned in Dakar in November over accusations against him and his father as part of a separate Senegalese investigation, a source told AFP.

He has refused to leave Senegal and despite two international arrest warrants issued by France, the Senegalese authorities have said they will not extradite him.

The case is due to run for six days. It was postponed in January because of procedural problems and could be held up again.

On Monday morning, the court will hear a request from Antoine Beauquier, Papa Massata Diack's Paris lawyer, for another postponement, because Diack junior's other two lawyers, while willing to travel to Paris, cannot leave Dakar because of coronavirus travel restrictions. The scandal that the trial touches on led to Russia being banned from competing in several international competitions over state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015. Despite being reinstated by other sports federations, Russia is still banned from competing as a nation by World Athletics.

Two other defendants are expected to be absent from the trial in Paris.

Valentin Balakhnichev, a former head of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer, is accused of "giving and receiving bribes" and "aggravated money-laundering".

Alexei Melnikov, formerly Russia's chief distance running coach, is accused of "receiving bribes."

Both are the subjects of international arrest warrants

Source: 7 June 2020,

Yahoo sports

Athletics

https://sports.yahoo.com/ex-athletics-chief-diack-faces-court-over-corruption-010748312--spt.html

Can sports clubs compel players to return to play and waive health and safety liability?

Fri, 2020-06-05 06:02
Can sports clubs compel players to return to play and waive health and safety liability?

As elite-level leagues, sporting associations and other stakeholders debate whether competitions can be restarted in an era of physical distancing, it has been reported that some professional football and rugby clubs are proposing to require players to sign disclaimers in relation to the health risks posed by Covid-19 before they resume training.[1]

This article by John Mehrzad QC and Joseph Bryan of the Littleton Sports Law Group discusses the legal consequences of clubs seeking to compel players to train or play and whether such ‘disclaimers’ are of any legal effect.  Specifically, it:

  • sets out relevant first principles of employment rights in the UK;
  • suggests that players may be entitled to refuse to play or train due to Covid-19 concerns; and
  • explains how waivers of liability for Covid-19-related personal injury or death are not enforceable.
AuthorJohn Mehrzad QC Joseph Bryan

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin – 25 May 2020

Wed, 2020-05-27 02:33
INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin – 25 May 2020 INVESTIGATIONS Brazil Brazilian ‘ghost’ game offered on 200 betting markets worldwide

May 20 – The integrity of a match reportedly played between two Brazilian clubs on March 25, and which was offered on the betting markets attracting a reported £1.4 million in wagers, is being investigated.

The game between Andraus Brasil at their home ground in Campo Largo, Parana, against Gremio Serrano, from Paraiba, supposedly took place despite football having been suspended in the region before the match was scheduled.

It appears that some form of a game took place but it was certainly not an official match and the players are unknown. More than 200 bookmakers opened betting markets for the match.

Andraus’ lawyer Marlus Dalledone is reported as saying the match did take place but has yet to provide proof. He said the match was organised so Andraus could scout players from Serrano.

Serrano’s lawyer Lucas Bezerra told The Sun newspaper that the match was played with players who were not theirs and that they did not send a team.

As football went into lockdown worldwide there have been a number of matches that have been offered on bookmaker websites but which are unclear as to whether they were actually played and if so, by who. Games in Ukraine and Russia offered to punters showed signs of match-fixing with fingers pointing at the data gatherers that feed the bookmakers sites as having been part of the fix.

It is not clear if the game supposedly played in Brazil showed signs of irregular betting patterns.

Helio Cury and Michelle Ramalho, the presidents of the Parana and Paraiba Football Federations, said an investigation would be opened.

Contact the writer of this story at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67 = 'moc.llabtoofdlrowedisni' + '@'; addy4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67 = addy4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67 + 'noslohcin' + '.' + 'luap'; var addy_text4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67 = 'moc.llabtoofdlrowedisni' + '@' + 'noslohcin' + '.' + 'luap';document.getElementById('cloak4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67').innerHTML += ''+addy_text4f161f1f6f4619257fe35c4da8e9ad67+'<\/a>';

Source: 20 May 2020,

INSIDE World Football

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/05/20/brazilian-ghost-game-offered-200-betting-markets-worldwide/

Denmark Ex-Aston Villa star Jores Okore at centre of police probe into alleged match-fixing after influx of bets on yellow card

The 27-year-old now plays for Danish Super League club Aalborg who were involved in the match in question.

Okore was booked for a high challenge on rival Oliver Lund late in their 1-0 win over Odense last October.

And Danish bookies reportedly contacted police after suspiciously large sums were bet on Okore being booked in the game.

North Jutland police said: "In February we received a so-called match-fixing report relating to Aalborg Football Club. "On the basis of a violation of the Criminal Code dealing with fraud, we launched an investigation into the case."

Police chief Troels Kjaergaard added: "We have been investigating the case since we received the notification in February. It is still pending."

Aalborg managing director Thomas Baelum said: "We are aware of the enquiry. We are fully available to get to the bottom of the case.

"Hopefully the conclusion will be that no illegal event has taken place. "As a club we are completely distance ourselves from match-fixing, and we look forward to having the case closed."

Ivory Coast-born Okore is an eight cap Danish international and he joined Aalborg from FC Copenhagen in 2017.

He made 43 Villa appearances during his time in England and scored once.

Source: 21 May 2020, The Sun

Football

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/11667940/aston-villa-jores-okore-police-probe-match-fixing-betting/

Spain Villarreal and Getafe deny match-fixing

(Reuters) - Spanish soccer clubs Villarreal and Getafe have denied any wrongdoing after national media reported on Friday that police are investigating possible match-fixing in a 2-2 draw between the two clubs in La Liga last year.

“Villarreal and its first team wish to show their absolute rejection of the accusations made today and categorically deny being involved in any way in fixing the game against Getafe on the final day of last season,” said a club statement.

“As it has done on repeated occasions, the club condemns any conduct that damages the essence of sport and competition and stresses that the values of transparency, ethics, integrity and fair play are fundamental to its philosophy.”

Getafe also released a statement saying the club “wish to categorically deny any involvement with this matter and this type of conduct”.

Newspaper El Pais reported that the match was being looked at as part of Operation Oikos, which was launched last year and led to 11 people being arrested on suspicion of forming a match-fixing group to profit from betting on games.

La Liga confirmed it had opened a confidential dossier as part of Operation Oikos but added that details of the case would not be made public until it goes to trial.

The court based in the city of Huesca that El Pais said was investigating the case could not be reached for comment.

“Operation Oikos came about due to an accusation by La Liga, which has joined the case as a private plaintiff, and will take all legal measures necessary to clarify the facts that are under investigation,” La Liga said in a statement.

Getafe had to beat Villarreal to stand a chance of qualifying for Europe’s elite Champions League club competition ahead of Valencia. Villarreal had nothing to play for.

Valencia’s 2-0 win at Real Valladolid on the same day, however, meant that in the event Getafe could not have qualified for the Champions League even if they had beaten Villarreal.

Five former Osasuna directors and two former Real Betis players were given jail sentences last month following an investigation into match-fixing in 2013 and 2014, the first ever convictions for sporting corruption in Spanish football.

Source: 15 May 2020,

Reuters

Football

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-spain-matchfixing/villarreal-and-getafe-deny-match-fixing-idUKKBN22R2WE

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS China ‘Dota 2’ Team Newbee Banned From Chinese Competitions For Match Fixing

Newbee, the esports organisation best known for winning The International 4 Dota 2 tournament, have been banned from professional Dota 2 in China by the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association for match fixing.

The ban sees them unable to compete in all Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association affiliated leagues, including the CDA-DPL Professional League, all IMBATV events and all MarsTV events.

The Newbee players have also received bans from these competitions, with the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association confirming that this is a lifetime ban for all involved and they have been removed from the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association along with the Newbee organisation. While this is not yet a worldwide ban for the team, the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association has passed the information over to Valve, and it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see them hand out a ban themselves based on previous cases.

The five players of Newbee, Xu "Moogy" Han, Yin "Aq" Rui, Wen "Wizard" Lipeng, Yan "Waixi" Chao and Zeng "Faith" Hongda will likely now struggle to sustain a career in professional Dota.

Faith is perhaps the best known player on the team, having won The International 2 with Invictus Gaming in 2012 and coming second at The International 7 with Newbee in 2017. After such an illustrious career where he has won $1,758,817 in prize money it seems crazy that he would be involved with match fixing.

While the specific matches that were fixed have not been revealed, it is believed that they took place in the China Dota2 Professional League Season 2 and the DPL-CDA Professional League Season 1.

Unsurprisingly the team has been disqualified from the DPL-CDA Professional League Season 1 in which they were currently competing. The side had only won one series in the competition so far, so were unlikely to win, but now will finish in last place.

For years Newbee has been one of the biggest organisations in the world of Dota. In 2014 they won The International 4 after forming shortly before the competition as somewhat of a Chinese super team. They took the grand finals in convincing fashion in one of the shortest finals ever at The International. While they never managed to reach the same heights again they did make it to the final of The International 7 and were incredibly close to becoming the first two time TI champions. However, Team Liquid managed to take them down and that left OG to become the first two time TI champions at The International 9 last year.

Source: 15 May 2020,

FORBES eSports

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikestubbs/2020/05/15/dota-2-team-newbee-banned-from--chinese-competitions-for-match-fixing/#5e8ab3764dbe

Vietnam 11 Vietnamese footballers punished for match fixing

The Vietnam Football Federation Monday suspended 11 players of the U21 Dong Thap team for six months to five years for match fixing.

The suspended players include midfielder Tran Cong Minh and defender Vo Minh Trong, members of the national U19 football team that qualified for the AFC U19 Championship last year. They have been fined VND 2.5 million ($107) and slapped with sixmonth ban from activities hosted by the federation (VFF).

Eight other players awarded the same penalties as Minh and Trong are: Nguyen Nhat Truong, Nguyen Anh Phat, Le Nhut Huy, Giang So Ny, Tran Huu Nghia, Cao Tan Hoai, Duong Vu Linh and Kha Tan Tai.

The heaviest penalty was awarded to 21-year-old Huynh Van Tien, as he was found to have initiated the match fixing and enticed other players in the team to join him. Tien was fined VND5 million and given a five-year ban from VFF football activities.

During the opening match of the U21 national qualifiers between U21 Dong Thap and U21 Vinh Long last year, 11 players of the former bet VND150 million that the game would end with two goals or less. With the final score reading 1-1, they won back their bet money and an extra VND133 million, which they split among themselves. Dong Thap later qualified for the U21 national tournament, where they reached the semifinals.

In recent years, several footballers in Vietnam have been banned for involvement in match fixing.

At the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, seven Vietnamese football players, including rising talents, were caught throwing one match. One player was sentenced to four years in jail and the others received suspended sentences.

Nine years later, several players with the Ninh Binh Football Club were banned for betting on matches in the AFC Cup.

Source: 12 May 2020,

VN EXPRESS

Football

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/sports/football/11-vietnamese-footballers-punished-for-match-fixing-4098130.html

LEGISLATION Global Fighting the manipulation of sports competitions must be a political priority

Council of Europe member States must adopt “relevant laws and sanctions to uphold the integrity of sports competitions against manipulation”, according to PACE‘s Culture Committee. This type of ‘organised crime’ can “only be tackled effectively through a common political commitment and legally binding international co-operation in the fields of information exchange, data protection, law enforcement and criminal justice”.

While highlighting the concrete measures taken by several governments, the committee considers that sport integrity matters “remain generally low on the political agenda”, and deplores that in five years only six member States of the Council of Europe have ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions.

With regard to this international legal instrument, the unanimously adopted draft resolution, based on a report prepared by Roland Rino Büchel (Switzerland, ALDE), denounces the attempt by Malta to amend the definition of ‘illegal sports betting’ within the Convention under the provisions of its Article 38 as yet another tactic “to win its cause and to neutralise the existing definition, thereby significantly weakening the system established by the Convention”. According to the adopted text, requesting an amendment would “paralyse the effective implementation of the Convention”.

However, the draft resolution welcomes the fact that to date, 32 national platforms are operation despite several without a formal framework. Many countries have updated their legislation to comply with the Convention and co-operation through informal networks is active. The text also welcomes the recent conclusion of the meeting of EU Council sports ministers calling on the EU and all its member States to complete their respective ratification processes and accede to the Convention “as soon as possible”. It urges the Union institutions to look for a rapid solution to remove the obstacles preventing EU member States ratifying the Convention so that its Follow-up Committee can start operating with a maximum number of States Parties.

“The time to act is now,” the text concludes, since further delays will “only benefit criminal networks and undermine the values of sport, which will also jeopardise the values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights”. This is particularly dangerous in the context of the current drastic impact of COVID-19 on the financial sustainability of sports, “carrying a high potential risk of further expansion of money laundering, illegal betting and manipulation of sport competitions”.

Source: 15 May 2020,

Parliamentary Assembly

All Sports

https://pace.coe.int/en/news/7890/fighting-the-manipulation-of-sports-competitions-must-be-a-political-priority

Sweden Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Submits Match-fixing Regulations for EC Approval

Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has submitted new rules on match fixing to the country’s National Board of Trade, for the board to notify the European Commission of the changes, and has conducted an impact assessment of the rules.

The new rules would limit betting to the top four divisions of football. Also, betting on Swedish Cup would be limited to matches featuring teams from the top four tiers. Markets for matches involving foreign clubs would only be permitted when each participating team is from the top four tiers of each country’s footballing pyramid. Operators would only be able to take bets on international matches from under-21 level upwards.

Last month, when it announced the plans to ban betting on lower-league matches, Spelinspektionen also proposed banning betting on training matches or friendlies entirely, but opted to continue to allow international friendlies.

In addition, betting must not be offered in the event of a rule violation such as a yellow card or penalty in football, while betting must not be offered on individual performance of anyone under 18 years of age

Also, licensees will be required to produce annual reports on potential match-fixing activity.

The new rules on match fixing can only take effect after the EU Commission has given its opinion, which takes just over three months. Spelinspektionen said the rules could come into effect no earlier than the end of 2020.

“Match fixing is considered as one of the biggest threats to sports today and as a result of this as well against betting and the companies that provide betting. There are, as far as can be judged, great risks in offering bets on games at low divisions in football,” Spelinspektionen said.

“Monitoring from both sports federations and the media is lower and the athletes do not make money and are thus more vulnerable. There is also a risk of athletes or whole associations coming in contact with match fixing at lower levels and then taking the problem up through the pyramid with any sporting success,” it added.

Spelinspektionen also said it was aware of the risk that the restrictions could apply in encouraging more players to play on unlicensed sites.

“The unlicensed gaming market is never further away than a click on your computer or phone,” it said.

Source: 22 May 2020,

European Gaming

Football

https://europeangaming.eu/portal/compliance-updates/2020/05/22/71046/swedens-spelinspektionen-submits-match-fixing-regulations-for-ec-approval/ 

BETTING Spain La Guardia Civil advierte que la fama del fútbol y deporte español atrae a organizaciones mafiosas de amaños

La Guardia Civil advierte que la fama internacional del deporte español y especialmente del futbol lo hace especialmente atractivo para las organizaciones de amaños de partidos con apuestas ilegales.

Esta es una de las conclusiones de un reciente informe de la Guardia Civil destinado a las unidades de investigación al que ha tenido acceso la SER.

Según esto, las apuestas, en muchos casos ilegales, se hacen especialmente en Asia, que concentra el 70% del mercado mundial de apuestas.

El informe destaca que el amaño de partidos y la manipulación de las competiciones es una actividad muy rentable y de escaso riesgo para los delincuentes puesto que a la dificultad de la detección se une una escasa penalidad.

Mafias organizadas Las tramas criminales organizadas, algunas con estructura tipo mafia, llegan a emplear la extorsión a deportistas o a responsables de entidades deportivas, incluso adquirir clubs para implementar sus manipulaciones.

Modus Operandi En el mundo del futbol el abanico de apuestas va desde que se producirá un gol en los próximos minutos, o el resultado final, o el que habrá en un minuto determinado, o quién marcará primero, la primera expulsión, o cuantos corners o penaltis habrá.

El tenis también es diana de su actividad donde incluso se puede acordar con el jugador el por ejemplo: perder el primer saque, quien hará más "breaks" o si se perderá o no un servicio.

La persona encargada del contacto inicial suele ser un antiguo deportista que haya alcanzado un cierto nivel y tendrá ascendente entre los afectados.

"Mulas" Otro grupo necesario son los apostantes que suelen ejercer funciones de "mulas". Son los encargados de realizar las apuestas, principalmente por internet.

Para las apuestas por internet lo mas habitual es que el grupo criminal se haga con identidades de terceras personas, identidades que compran o sustraen.

Es menos habitual el uso de apostantes reales que obtienen beneficios pagando a la organización por conocer los partidos amañados.

Se relacionan por Whatsapp o Telegram. En algún caso los apostantes incluso desconocen el amaño de los partidos y lo que hacen es contratar supuestos servicios de asesoría, ofertados por la red de fraude, para orientar sus apuestas

En estos casos los usuarios pagan por estar en estos grupos donde la organización vende lo que denominan "un verde" (o green), es decir consejos de supuestos especialistas que "adivinan" los resultados pero que en realidad conocen el amaño.

Monitorización Las propias casas de apuestas y otras entidades públicas y privadas monitorizan la evolución de las apuestas y si detectan manipulación la pueden suspender.

Otro aspecto es el caracter internacional de las organizaciones criminales, con grupos itinerantes o apostadores distribuidos en varios países.

El informe recoge los datos de la Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego en 2019 que sitúa en 7.074 millones el dinero vinculado al juego y apuestas por internet.

Source: 19 May 2020,

SER All Sports,

Football

https://cadenaser-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/cadenaser.com/ser/2020/05/19/deportes/1589884415_311541.amp.html

DOPING Italy DOPING TRAFFICKING RING WITH PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES DISMANTLED IN ITALY

The Italian Carabinieri Corps (NAS Carabinieri), supported by Europol, targeted a criminal network trafficking illegal medicines and doping substances.

On the action day on 14 May 2020, Italian law enforcement authorities arrested four suspected traffickers. The Carabinieri carried out 210 house searches targeting 74 competitive athletes registered to sports federations, 11 gym owners and 4 owners of food supplement stores, located all over Italy. Italian authorities are investigating another 64 individuals for their suspected involvement in the criminal activities; 30 others have been charged with less serious crimes. The seizures included 936 packs of medicines used for doping purposes, 4 437 tablets and 7 778 vials of various doping products for a total estimated value of more than €100 000.

The operation was a follow-up of a previous investigation into bodybuilders from Turin who were found in possession of a large amount of anabolic drugs, which were advertised on mobile apps. When first using the app, the potential clients were directed to an encrypted chat to complete the purchase. All payments were made via money transferring services. The packages were then shipped through express courier services, who were unaware of their contents.

Europol supported the operation by facilitating information exchange and providing analytical support. On the action day, Europol activated the Virtual Command Post at its headquarters to coordinate the action and facilitate live information exchange. This tool was used also to cross-check operational information in real-time against Europol’s databases and provide leads to investigators in the field.

Source: 15 May 2020,

EUROPOL

All Sports

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/doping-trafficking-ring-professional-athletes-dismantled-in-italy

GOOD PRACTICES Sports Betting service providers IBIA calls for new global standards for data collection

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has called on all parties in the sports betting data supply chain to develop a set of global best practice standards for all providers.

The integrity watchdog argued this cross-provider coordination would help protect the integrity of sport, as well as ensure high standards of data, and in turn betting products generated through use of that data.

“Upholding the reliability and credibility of sporting event data is of paramount importance for my members and the challenges posed by the pandemic have further highlighted the necessity for robust data chains,” IBIA chief executive Khalid Ali (pictured) explained.

“There is a clear benefit for everyone involved in the data supply chain in ensuring that such data is a product of high levels of accuracy and transparency.”

Ali said the IBIA and its members had been considering the issue internally for some time, but believed now was the time to go a step further by having a proper industry-wide debate.

“To that end, IBIA is asking all stakeholders, notably data providers, to proactively engage with the association and its members to develop and implement agreed best practice standards around the sale, collation and distribution of sports data for betting,” he added.

Data provider Stats Perform, an affiliate member of IBIA, said it fully supported and commended the association for leading the call for uniform standards.

“As a truly global sports entity, with considerable business across the media and professional sports sectors as well as betting, trust in sport is paramount to us, as well as being vital for all our customers and the sports industry itself," the supplier's chief betting officer Andrew Ashenden said. "Over many years we have invested in an unparalleled integrity and quality control infrastructure and that investment continues to be at the heart of our operations.

"Data integrity issues wherever they originate are harmful for the industry and we are looking forward to contributing our expertise via the IBIA and its members on the development of global best practice," he contineud. "We have always maintained that collaboration in this space across sporting federations, governing bodies, third party integrity providers, regulators, operators and data suppliers is vital.”

Stats Perform's head of integrity Jake Marsh added that the business had the strongest quality assurance and integrity processes in place across its data supply chain.

"We look forward to working with all their members and other stakeholders on best practices in order to help protect the integrity of sport and betting.”

IBIA’s calls come days after it issued a joint warning, alongside the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), of an increased risk of manipulation in the sport, as tournaments and matches resume following the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

It therefore urged all operators, both among its members and across the wider industry, and data providers to ensure matchfixing attempts could be quickly identified and prevented.

Source: 21 May 2020,

iGB

https://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/ibia-calls-new-global-standards-data-collection

Sweden MGA collaborates with the Swedish Football Association to protect integrity

The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) has established a data-sharing agreement with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in order to ensure that football in the country ‘adheres to laws and regulations’ relating to its sporting events.

MGA’s agreement will see the two firms work towards ensuring that football is a discrimination-free sport at Sweden’s National level, whilst also helping the sector fight against matching fixing and corruption.

The MGA’s Sports Integrity Manager, Antonio Zerafa stated: “The Data-Sharing Agreement between the MGA and the SvFF allows for the relationship between the two entities to not be limited to discussions of best practices only, but to also allow for the transfer of data in relation to investigations of manipulation in sports competitions.

“Undoubtedly, this further strengthens the MGA’s commitment to assisting Sports Governing Bodies in their fight against matchfixing.”

MGA, which regulates the majority of the region’s gaming sector, has prioritised sporting integrity over the last few months. Alongside its new deal with SvFF, the authority has signed data sharing partnerships with the likes of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in an attempt to fight against sporting manipulation through cooperation and an effective exchange of information.

Sweden’s top domestic league, the Allsvenskan, is looking to start its season on 14 June after the campaign was postponed indefinitely due to the global health pandemic. However, the plan will only go ahead if it is passed by Sweden’s Public Health Authority.

Source: 14 May 2020, I

NSIDER Sport

Football

https://insidersport.com/2020/05/14/mga-collaborates-with-the-swedish-football-association-to-protect-integrity/

ODDS AND ENDS Australia Changes in online gambling during the COVID-19 pandemic

This study explores the potential for increased online gambling as a result of COVID-19 social distancing measures.

Questions were included in an omnibus survey employing an online panel sample, with data collected in early April 2020.

The results showed that almost a quarter of respondents had participated in online gambling in the previous month. Ten percent had increased their participation in at least one form of online gambling, while 14 percent had decreased their involvement. Those betting on sporting events in Australia were the most likely to increase their participation in online gambling.

When demographic factors were examined, being male, aged under 30 and in full-time employment were all associated with increased participation in online gambling in the last month.

Source: Rick Brown & Amelia Hickman,

13 May 2020,

Australian Institute of Criminology

All Sports

https://aic.gov.au/publications/sb/sb25

Portugal APAJO Expects Sports Betting Revenues in Portugal to Reduce by 75%

Due to the new Coronavirus causing danger to the health and livelihood of our society, sporting events all over the world are being cancelled and postponed causing major economic problems for the Portuguese sports betting world.

And as sporting and competition events are crucial for the sports betting industry, revenues will now, unfortunately, reach a crucial fall of an estimated 75%, according to APAJO. Once football matches and other sports events resume, wetten.com/pt/ expects betting volumes in the country to recover back to normal fairly quickly

Ripple Effect on the Global Economy Now, with a lot of countries going in complete lockdown, the harsh effects of the virus will have an even bigger impact on the international economy. As the only way, you can operate a business and make a living is if you are providing an essential service or selling essential products, these businesses are also limited by what they can trade. They can only trade essential products and nothing else, which is also causing non-essential service providers and product manufacturers to be affected by the dire economic consequences of the virus.

Great Losses for Sports Betting With all sports competitions, including EURO2020, being cancelled all over the world, the online betting sector has suffered great losses. With no clear prospects of a full recovery soon according to APAJO (Portuguese Association of Online Gambling), players should be concerned as steps will be put in place for recovery in due course.

Associates of APAJO have warned that in March the online sports betting have suffered a loss in the region of 70%-75%, which can escalate to 100% during the month of April, due to sporting competitions and events being cancelled and postponed.

Gabino Oliveira (The President of APAJO) also stressed the fact that limitations will be much larger in Portugal as the Coronavirus has hit the country very seriously.

Betting Sector in Portugal At Risk In addition to suggestions already announced, the proactivity of operators, regulator and government will determine the survival of this recently added sector and its job opportunities in Portugal. As the sector has only been active in Portugal now for under 4 years, major steps will have to be put in place to ensure future growth and stability to get the sector back to its strength.

The Silver Lining With the gaming sector being a very important part of Portugal’s tourism industry, there is some hope, with €3 billion packages already being approved in Portugal for the economy, there are at least some positive views

The gambling industry in Portugal employs thousands of workers, so these measures are important to in order to provide a safety net for operators, both online and offline.

Curbing Illegal Gambling Also, a very important factor to be considered is the dangers of illegal gambling, as it may attract players in this time when all sporting competitions and events are cancelled or postponed. Illegal gambling operators should not be benefitting from this epidemic as it would weaken the economy of the legal sector even more. It is therefore imperative that measures are put in place to curb illegal practices and for regulators to continue pressuring illegal activity.

These operators not paying taxes to the government or providing safety towards gamblers could also be very dangerous to local players as well as tourists interested in Portugal’s gaming and safety overall.

Source: George Miller,

12 May 2020,

European Gaming

All Sports

https://europeangaming.eu/portal/latest-news/2020/05/12/70430/apajo-expects-sports-betting-revenues-in-portugal-to-reduce-by-75/

United Kingdom Covid 19 and its impact on gambling – what we know so far

Overview The Covid-19 crisis continues to affect everyone across Great Britain. The lockdown has also brought significant consumer behavioural change and major impacts on the gambling industry. Our responsibility during the crisis is to protect consumers and we are focused on understanding how the risks posed to them are changing. To help understand these risks and trends, and to inform public knowledge, we are collecting additional data from operators[1] and consumer research[2] – allowing us to build a clearer picture week by week.

1. General consumer trends

Current consumer trends provide important context at the moment for looking at the gambling market, in terms of how we feel, the money in our pocket and how we are spending our time.

Research by Savanta reports 20% of the population recognising a decrease in their mental health and fear of catching the virus remains high, peaking at 61% in late March. There has also been a significant financial impact, where the same research notes that 40% of people have seen their disposable income decrease.

Naturally while spending most of our time in the home, we have also seen changes in the way people engage with news and entertainment. This is particularly so among people who gamble. According to YouGov data, those who had gambled in the past four weeks were more likely than the national average to have:

Spent more online on entertainment (17% of gamblers compared to 11% of all adults) Watched TV more (58% of gamblers compared to 42% of all adults) Viewed more news online (53% of gamblers compared to 49% of all adults) Consumed more on-demand entertainment (51% of gamblers compared to 35% of all adults) 2. Gambling Market Impacts

On 20 March all retail gambling venues closed – meaning that, at a stroke, activities that normally generate 50%[3] of the overall market (excluding lotteries) stopped.

Operator data collected by the Commission comparing March 2020 with March 2019, provides an initial insight into the changing shape and size of the market. April data, to be reported shortly, will provide an even clearer picture. [4]

a. Overall, fewer consumers are gambling but some people, who are gambling already, are trying new products

The crisis does not appear to have attracted many new consumers to gambling. According to YouGov research from 16-17 April[5], only 0.2% of all adults surveyed stated that they had started gambling for the first time during the last four weeks.

Operator data on overall active player accounts[6] indicates a 3% decrease, driven in part by real event betting (active players down 11%[7]), where clearly the chance to bet on top quality sport has disappeared.

The YouGov research shows that a third of past four-week gamblers say they have tried one or more gambling activities for the first time during lockdown[8]. Operator data shows that certain products are seeing active player increases compared to this time last year (some from low comparative bases of players), which are generally those with a faster play cycle, such as slots.

This shift is against the backdrop of relatively stable advertising awareness, where the YouGov research[9] shows that 32% of adults recalled seeing marketing for online bingo, casino or slots games in the last four weeks. This is comparable with 39% in our pre-lockdown research[10].

b. Overall gamblers are playing products at the same rate or less, but a majority of those who have participated in 3 or more gambling activities in the last 4 weeks are spending more time or money. We are also seeing an increase in the number of sessions over an hour.

Although operator data indicates that the overall number of active customer accounts has decreased slightly between March 2019 and March 2020, this decrease is not seen across all products. The volume of activity on certain products appears to be growing[11] in that time, albeit that within many products the number of active players are growing faster than the number of bets[12]. This indicates an overall growth in the product, although implies a decrease in the average number of bets per customer. This is not true of slots where the average is maintained.

This is consistent with our YouGov Covid-19 tracker research which shows that the majority (three quarters) of recent gamblers indicate that they have not increased the time or money they have spent on gambling.

The profile is different for engaged[13] gamblers where two thirds (64%) have increased either the amount of time or money they have spent on at least one gambling activity, including National Lottery products.

At an overall level year on year to March 2020, the average session length reported by operators has decreased by 4 minutes (down to 22 minutes). Within that though the number of sessions which lasted over 1 hour increased by 23%. This meant that almost one in eight sessions now lasted in excess of 1 hour.

3. Next Steps

Our key principles, as we continue to try and understand better changes that are happening, are to try and increase our confidence in and understanding of the data that we have and seek further information on data points of interest or trends of concern.

We will look to do that by continuing to place questions on the YouGov tracker to both increase sample size and look at new questions, such as consumer shift from retail to online.

We will also seek further data from operators. This will seek understand what operators are doing and what they are seeing, for example around recognised consumer segments of potential concern, such as young men who play a number of products.

Finally, to maintain transparency, we will publish data and our findings on an ongoing basis.

Source: 15 May 2020,

Gambling Commission

All Sports

https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Statistics-and-research/Covid-19-research/Covid-19-and-its-impact-on-gambling- %E2%80%93-what-we-know-so-far.aspx

MATCH FIXING India Match-fixing scandal | Supreme Court notice to Sanjeev Chawla on plea challenging bail granted to him

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from Sanjeev Chawla, alleged bookie and key accused in one of the cricket’s biggest match-fixing scandals that involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje, on a plea filed by Delhi police challenging the bail granted to him.

A Bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao was hearing through video-conferencing an appeal filed by the police challenging the May 6 order of the Delhi High Court which had upheld a trial court’s decision granting bail to Chawla.

“Issue notice returnable two weeks,” the Bench said in its order. Chawla, who was extradited from London in February, was granted bail by a trial court here on April 30 on furnishing a personal bond of 2 lakh with two sureties of the like amount.

According to the police, Chawla was allegedly involved in fixing of five matches and Cronje, who died in a plane crash in 2002, was also involved.

Cronje — the sullied hero who died young The police alleged that Chawla played a key role in conspiring with Cronje to fix a South African tour to India in February-March, 2000. Chawla has denied the allegations.

The British court documents say that Chawla is a Delhi-born businessman who moved to the United Kingdom on a business visa in 1996 and continued to make trips to India. In its May 6 order, the high court said that when the scenario of a trial taking place was “stark”, the liberty of a person “cannot be left in limbo” on the belief that he was a flight risk.

The high court, while dismissing the police’s plea challenging the bail granted to Chawla in the case in which FIR was lodged 20 years ago, had said that instant case highlights the need for use of technology, like GPS tracking system used in USA, to track under-trials in cases where there is a fear that they may flee

Before the high court, the police had sought cancellation of bail primarily on the ground of gravity of offence and also that guidelines for release in view of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were not to be applied in the instant case as was done by the trial court.

Chawla’s counsel had opposed the plea in the high court and said there was no evidence to suggest that Chawla was likely to abscond.

Source: 13 May 2020,

THE HINDU

Cricket

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/match-fixing-scandal-supreme-court-notice-to-sanjeev-chawla-on-plea-challenging-bail-granted-tohim/article31574948.ece

CORRUPTION Indonesia ‘Full of rats’: Olympic champ claims corruption common practice in sports ministry

After admitting his role in a bribery case implicating former Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, retired Indonesian shuttler Taufik Hidayat later claimed that such corrupt practices were very common in the ministry.

Taufik, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, retired as a badminton player in 2013. Between 2016 and 2017, he served as the deputy chairman of Satlak Prima (Gold Program), a national sporting program under the ministry for elite athletes that was dissolved in 2018.

 

 “No matter who serves as the minister, it will never change unless half of the ministry is reformed. It [the ministry] is full of rats [corrupt officials],” Taufik said in an interview with mentalist-cum-YouTube-personality Deddy Corbuzier.

The former shuttler claimed it was very easy for the ministry’s officials to embezzle billions of rupiah earmarked for various program, such as through hotel discounts during the national training camp program.

He explained the ministry had to book hotel rooms to house 500 to 1,000 athletes for the program. While a hotel room usually costs Rp 500,000 (US$33.70) a night, the officials can get discounts from booking many rooms at the same time.

“They can embezzle Rp 100,000 for each room, multiplied by 1,000 people a day. The program can last for more than a month. Imagine how much they can get!” said Taufik.

Read also: Olympic medalist admits to delivering bribes to former sports minister

While claiming that he had experienced and witnessed such illicit practices, Taufik added that he had no tangible proof of such crime.

Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewa Broto regretted Taufik for making such claims. He went on to say that Taufik had put his name as a badminton legend at stake for accusing the ministry of corruption.

“We are in the fasting month of Ramadan. We forgive Taufik for talking like that. We just need to prove [that he’s wrong] by doing our work,” Gatot said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.

During a hearing against Imam last Wednesday, Taufik admitted to the court that he acted as an intermediary in the bribery case implicating the former minister.

Taufik said he had delivered Rp 1 billion to Imam’s personal assistant, Miftahul Ulum, in January 2018. Miftahul is also a suspect in the case.

Taufik, however, claimed he did not know that the money was a bribe and denied that he had accepted some of the illicit money in the crime.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) indicted Imam for accepting Rp 11.5 billion in bribes and other gratuities worth Rp 8.64 billion from the ministry and Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) officials pertaining to the disbursement of a state grant for the organization. (nal)

Source: 13 May 2020,

The Jakarta Post

Badminton

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/05/13/full-of-rats-olympic-champ-claims-corruption-common-practice-in-sports-ministry.html

Switzerland Swiss attorney general faces possible impeachment over handling of FIFA corruption probe

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber faces the start of proceedings on Wednesday that could lead to his impeachment after criticism of his handling of an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding soccer's governing body FIFA.

Lauber has been accused by anti-corruption campaigners of botching a fraud trial over payments linked to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The five-year statute of limitations in the case expired last month before the Federal Criminal Court could rule, increasing calls for Lauber to resign.

An independent watchdog has also sharply criticised his conduct of the investigation into allegations of corruption at FIFA, whose headquarters are in Zurich.

A committee of 17 lawmakers will consider whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect Lauber broke rules or was grossly negligent. They can summon him for questioning next week before deciding whether to open formal proceedings.

Lauber, who would be the first national official impeached since the federal state of Switzerland was established in 1848, has defended his handling of the case, saying FIFA itself was not a target of the inquiry, and has appealed to the Swiss administrative court against the watchdog's findings.

Lauber issued no new comment on the eve of Wednesday's proceedings.

"If we decide to carry out this procedure, we have to do it correctly, beyond reproach, to safeguard our institutions," Andrea Caroni, chairman of the parliamentary judicial committee, told Reuters.

"The attorney general and his office have a huge responsibility for the Swiss criminal justice system and our international standing ... This office – and its independence - are very important for the national and international reputation of Switzerland as a country of rule of law."

WATCHDOG'S CRITICISM

Lauber's office has handled high-profile money laundering and corruption cases linked to Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras, Malaysian state development fund 1MDB and FIFA, but has brought few charges in matters that brought convictions in other countries.

AB-BA, an independent oversight authority, said this year that Lauber had repeatedly told falsehoods and breached a code of conduct while handling the investigation into alleged corruption around FIFA.

He held undocumented meetings with FIFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino during the corruption investigation, misallocated resources and tried to block the AB-BA's inquiry into the affair, AB-BA said.

As punishment it cut Lauber's nearly 300,000 Swiss franc ($309,000) salary by 8% for one year.

Lauber's office said the AB-BA decision did not "represent a conclusive finding and must stand up to judicial review."

But some anti-corruption campaigners say his position is untenable. "The only question is how will he go. The clock is ticking," said University of Basel law professor Mark Pieth.

Ursula Schneider Schuettel, a member of the judiciary committee meeting on Wednesday, said proceedings were likely go to a parliamentary vote before Lauber could be dismissed.

"I will support any motion for possible impeachment proceedings, but eventually it would be better for everyone if Mr Lauber resigned," she said.

Source: John Revill,

12 May 2020,

Yahoo Sports

Football

https://sports.yahoo.com/swiss-attorney-general-faces-possible-132343498.html

 

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 27 April 2020 - 11 May 2020

Tue, 2020-05-12 02:33
INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin 27 April 2020 - 11 May 2020 SENTENCES/SANCTIONS Afghanistan Afghanistan cricketer Shafiqullah Shafaq handed six-year match-fixing ban

Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Shafiqullah Shafaq was banned from all forms of cricket for six years on Sunday after accepting charges relating to match-fixing.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said the 30-year-old had fixed or tried to fix matches in inaugural Afghanistan Premier League T20 in 2018 and in the 2019 Bangladesh Premier League. "Shafaq has been charged for breaches of the anti-corruption code which relates to fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement," the ACB announced in a statement.

It added: "Shafaq was also charged for seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other reward to fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any domestic match."

Match fixing has rocked international cricket in the last two decades with life bans for the late South African skipper Hansie Cronje, Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Pakistan's Salim Malik. But this is the first case involving a player from Afghanistan since the country had a fairytale rise in international cricket in 2009.

ACB's senior anti-corruption manager, Sayed Anwar Shah Qurai said: "This is a very serious offence where a senior national player is involved in the corruption of a high-profile domestic game. The player had also attempted but failed to get one of his teammates to engage in corruption in another high-profile game during the BPL 2019," said Qureshi.

The ACB said Shafaq is willing to contribute to future integrity education programs to help younger players learn from his mistakes. Shafaq played the last of his 46 Twenty20 internationals for Afghanistan in September last year. He has also played 24 one-day internationals for his country.

Source: 10 May 2020,

Deccan Herald

Cricket

https://www.deccanherald.com/sports/cricket/afghanistan-cricketer-shafiqullah-shafaq-handed-six-year-match-fixing-ban-835995.html

ODDS AND ENDS Germany Tennis pros take 1st swings at coronavirus-era exhibitions

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — (AP) — There were no spectators, no line judges, no ballkids -- and no post-match handshake at the net -- as an exhibition tennis event got underway in Germany on Friday with professional players, a rare instance of live, televised sports held during the coronavirus pandemic.

Just three men were involved in each contest for what will be a four-day event at an academy near the small town of HöhrGrenzhausen: two players, who sat on opposite sides of the indoor clay court, and a chair umpire.

“I like working with the crowd. I like having the energy on the court. There’s people watching, they get pumped, so that gives me a lot of energy and makes the thing more fun. ... It’s kind of hard that it’s gone completely,” Florian Broska, who plays college tennis at Mississippi State, told The Associated Press after his opening match Friday. “So I’m trying to get my own energy, but obviously it’s not the same.”

With the men's and women's pro tennis tours suspended at least until mid-July because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is not much of a chance for players to play the sport or for fans to watch it. But this mini-tournament with a round-robin format and an eight-man field -- Dustin Brown, who upset Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015, is the biggest name -- is among a growing number of unsanctioned competitions dotting the tennis calendar.

Two more events are planned for the same venue in Germany later this month.

Friday’s matches were shown in the United States on Tennis Channel, which also will air a round-robin event from West Palm Beach, Florida, on May 8-10. That will involve four men vying for prize money: 2019 U.S. Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini of Italy and top-60 Americans Reilly Opelka, Tennys Sandgren and Tommy Paul.

A similar event in the same place is scheduled for May 22-24 with four female pros in the top 60: Alison Riske, Amanda Anisimova, Danielle Collins and Ajla Tomljanovic.

Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, is setting up exhibitions at his tennis academy in Nice, France, with 10th-ranked David Goffin of Belgium slated to face 103rd-ranked Alexei Popyrin of Australia on May 16.

The Tennis Integrity Unit, which oversees anti-corruption efforts in the sport, issued a statement Friday to point out that while "a number of new tennis events" have not been "authorized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis," players, officials and support staff are still covered by the TIU's rules.

“The TIU has, upon request, provided integrity-related information to some event organizers,” the statement read. “This does not constitute advice and can in no way be seen as an endorsement or approval for any event that does not come under its jurisdiction.”

These attempts to return to tennis in some form offer some insight into what sports might look like whenever they resume on a larger scale.

Germany has started to ease its lockdown measures in a cautious way. Major events are not going to be allowed any time soon; soccer at closed stadiums is being considered for later in May.

At the tennis exhibition, players wear masks when they aren’t on court, minimize contact with others and, as Broska noted, there is “hand sanitizer everywhere.”

While waiting to play, they watch matches through a window in the venue’s bar area while sitting in what Broska called “boxes,” individual areas separated by dividers.

Unmanned TV cameras stand in fixed positions.

“On the court, it doesn’t really change anything. At least, that’s what I should tell myself. When you’re on the court and you see the cameras at the beginning, you’re like: ‘Oh, shoot. Something is happening,’” said Broska, who lives near the venue.

U.S. college tennis doesn’t offer ranking points, making it hard for players to make their mark internationally. Broska said he isn’t being paid for the tournament, unlike his opponents, so he can retain his college eligibility.

“This is to show people that I can play tennis at that level,” Broska said, “even if I don’t have the ranking or the results that these guys have.” 

Source: JAMES ELLINGWORTH,

1 May 2020,

Fox13

Tennis

https://www.fox13memphis.com/sports/tennis-pros-take-1st/UMA6RY3GI5HG6BOJPK7LGZNOYI/

MATCH FIXING Australia Five Australians charged following CS:GO match-fixing investigation

Charges have been laid against five Australians following a police investigation into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match fixing. This follows an initial arrest of six players back in August, when it was alleged they had thrown matches to gain winnings from bets they placed on them.

According to the Victoria Police statement, four 20-year-olds and a 27-year-old have been charged with "use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes". This offence can result in up to ten years imprisonment in Australia. The five will face court on September 15.

One of the alleged offenders has also been charged with engaging in "conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of an event or event contingency," as well as cannabis possession.

The charges relate to at least five matches in an unnamed CS:GO tournament, after an investigation was prompted by a tip-off from an Australian betting company. Last year, Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson told the ABC that up to AU$30,000 had been won via the fixed bets.

The ABC also reported last year that Australia's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit had been investigating links between organised crime and an unnamed Australian-based Overwatch team.

Source: Shaun Prescott,

4 May 2020,

PC GAMER eSports

https://www.pcgamer.com/five-australians-charged-following-csgo-match-fixing-investigation/

Egypt Tennis match-fixing: Egyptian Youssef Hossam banned for match-fixing

Youssef Hossam has been banned for life by the Tennis Integrity Unit after being found guilty of multiple match-fixing and other corruption offences.

The TIU found that the Egyptian, 21, had committed 21 breaches of anti-corruption rules between 2015 and 2019.

It also ruled he conspired with others to carry out betting-related corruption at the lower levels of the sport.

Hossam reached a career-high singles ranking of 291 in December 2017 and is currently ranked 820.

He was provisionally suspended from tennis in May last year and was found to have committed eight cases of match-fixing, six cases of facilitating gambling and two cases of soliciting other players not to use their best efforts.

He was also found guilty of three failures to report corrupt approaches and two failures to co-operate with a TIU investigation.

"As a result of his conviction, Mr Hossam is now permanently excluded from competing in or attending any sanctioned tennis event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport," said a TIU statement.

His elder brother, Karim Hossam, was banned from tennis for life for multiple match-fixing offences in 2018.

Source: 4 May 2020,

BBC News

Tennis

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/52539384

Global UN EQUIPO DE DOTA 2 ES SUSPENDIDO DE WEPLAY! PUSHKA LEAGUE POR MATCH FIXING

El Match Fixing parece no cesar, un equipo profesional de Dota 2 acaba de ser suspendido por presuntos arreglos de partidos en la WePlay! Pushka League Division 2. No es nuevo el caso de los arreglos de partidos en los esports, League Of Legends y Dota 2 son los que más sufrieron estas situaciones.

El partido entre Cyber Legacy y CyberTRAKTOR se celebró en la liga el 26 de abril por la segunda división de la WePlay! Pushka League. Tres días después, el 29 de abril, WePlay! ha publicado oficialmente una declaración a través de su sitio web que dice que el partido podría no haberse jugado de manera justa.

La serie BO3 entre los dos equipos vio a Cyber Legacy ganarlo 2-0. Sin embargo, cuando WePlay! decidió investigar las partidas, llegaron a la conclusión de que los miembros de CyberTRAKTOR podrían haber estado involucrados en el método de Match fixing.

El Match fixing fue realizado por CyberTRAKTOR, al apostar dinero en su contra y posteriormente perder su partido a propósito. Acá está la resolución de la organizadora de eventos WePlay!

Llegaron a la decisión de que CyberTRAKTOR tendrá prohibido participar en otros juegos hasta que se aclaren las circunstancias. El equipo está integrado tres rusos, un ucraniano y un bielorruso. Este equipo había triunfado en el clasificatorio de CIS para llegar al WePlay! Pushka League Division 2.

Como reiteramos anteriormente, no es el primer caso de Match fixing dentro de Dota 2, con solo recordar el arreglo de partidos por parte del equipo peruano de Elite Wolves por el 2016.

Source: Facundo Cáceres,

30 April 2020,

HERO Network eSports

https://www.beahero.gg/un-equipo-de-dota-2-es-suspendido-de-weplay-pushka-league-por-match-fixing/

India India is the den of match-fixing mafia in cricket, alleges former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed

Former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed has alleged that India is the den of match-fixing mafia in cricket. In an interview to a Pakistan-based news channel, Javed also claimed that fixing questions have been raised over the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the past but no one has the courage to do anything against the mafia, who runs the business while remaining in the background.

“Questions have been raised over IPL in the past. Match-fixing mafia is linked to India,” Javed told Geo News.

“There is no way out once you decide to get yourself into it (fixing). Nobody has the courage to take any sort of action against the mafia yet,” he added.

Javed had earlier accused Wasim Akram of keeping him out of Pakistan’s cricket team due to declining offers to fix matches. He also said that he received death threats if he spoke on the issue when there were allegations against former Pakistan captain Saleem Malik, he told another news channel, as quoted by Dawn.

The 47-year-old also alleged that he was being threatened to be ‘ripped into pieces’ if he continued to speak regarding the issue.

“My career ended prematurely because I spoke against fixing. I was being threatened that I would be ripped to pieces,” he said.

According to him, the reason why he could never become the head coach of the national team is that he spoke out in open.

“If you are vocal against fixing then you can only go to a certain extent in your career. This is why I was not able to become the head coach (of Pakistan).”

The right-arm pacer featured in 22 Tests and 163 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan, claiming 54 and 182 wickets respectively

Source: 8 May 2020,

THE CRICKET TIMES

Cricket

https://crickettimes.com/2020/05/india-is-the-den-of-match-fixing-mafia-in-cricket-alleges-former-pakistan-pacer-aaqib-javed/

India Match Fixing: Delhi HC Reserves Order On Police Plea Challenging Bail To Sanjeev Chawla

Delhi High Court Saturday reserved its order on a plea by Delhi Police challenging the bail granted to Sanjeev Chawla, an alleged bookie and a key accused in one of cricket's biggest match-fixing scandals that involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje. Justice Asha Menon, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, heard the arguments of the counsel for Delhi Police and Chawla and reserved the order on the plea.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Chawla, said while reserving the order, the high court has asked the magistrate concerned to accept the bail bond and sureties furnished by the accused and direct his release subject to the outcome of the high court proceedings. The counsel said the high court has asked Chawla to give an undertaking that he will abide by the outcome of its order and he along with the sureties is bound by the undertaking. Chawla, who was extradited from London in February, was granted bail by a trial court here on April 30 on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties of the like amount.

He had sought bail saying in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk of getting infected with the virus in jail where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Challenging the trial court's bail order, the police sought its cancellation on the ground that Chawla is a British national and it took 20 years to bring him back to India and there is likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice. The police, in the plea filed through prosecutor Kewal Singh Ahuja, said the guidelines with respect to COVID-19 and release of undertrial prisoners are not applicable to Chawla in light of his alleged role in the match fixing as he has played as the main conduit in the match fixing.

Pahwa opposed the police's plea saying Chawla never applied for bail in 60 days which showed he was cooperating with the prosecuting agency and the trial is pending for seven years and charges have not been framed and it will take considerable time to complete the trial. He said the plea to cancel the bail was not maintainable and while the Supreme Court and high court are de-congesting jails to contain the spread of coronavirus, police is keeping the accused in prison. The high court has asked both the sides to give their written submissions by May 4. The trial court, while granting bail to Chawla, said the accused was in custody for the last 76 days and the probe was already complete in the case.

It, however, directed him to give his voice sample and handwriting specimen to the investigating officer in the case. According to police, Chawla was allegedly involved in fixing of five matches. Cronje, who died in a plane crash in 2002, was also involved, police had told the court. Chawla was alleged to have played a central role in conspiring with Cronje to fix a South African tour to India in February-March, 2000.

The British court documents say that Chawla is a Delhi-born businessman who moved to the United Kingdom on a business visa in 1996 but continued to make trips to India.

Source: Press Trust Of India,

2 May 2020,

Republic World Cricket

https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/cricket-news/match-fixing-delhi-hc-reserves-order-on-police-plea-challenging-bail-to-sanjeev-chawla.html

Pakistan Pakistan's Umar Akmal gets three-year ban for match-fixing approach

Lahore (Pakistan) (AFP) - Controversial Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal was banned Monday from all forms of cricket for three years after pleading guilty to failing to report match-fixing approaches, the country's cricket board announced.

Umar, who turns 30 in May, last month withdrew a challenge to the charges.

The batsman's ban is effective from February 20, when he was provisionally suspended by the board under its anti-corruption code, which states a player must report being approached to fix games.

The decision was announced by a disciplinary committee after a brief hearing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which charged the player with two breaches.

Asif Mahmood -- the PCB's anti-corruption and security director -- said authorities took no "pleasure in seeing a promising international cricketer being declared ineligible" for three years on corruption charges, but defended the ban as necessary.

"I request all professional cricketers to stay away from the menace of corruption and immediately inform relevant authorities as soon as they are approached," Mahmood added.

Umar was whisked away by his driver without speaking to the media after the sentence was delivered.

The batsman burst onto the scene with a century in his first Test in 2009, but his career has been marred by disciplinary problems, resulting in various bans and fines.

He was arrested in February 2014 after a scuffle with a traffic warden who stopped him for a signal violation.

Umar last represented Pakistan in two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka in Lahore last year, falling to first ball ducks on both occasions.

He has so far played 16 Tests, 121 one-day games and 84 Twenty20s for Pakistan.

Umar's ban is the latest in a series of match- or spot-fixing punishments meted out to Pakistani players.

In 2000, former captain Salim Malik was banned for life and six other players -- including greats such as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis -- were fined after a judicial inquiry on fixing.

A decade later then-Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned for five years in a spot-fixing case over an incident during the team's tour of England.

The Pakistan Super League's second edition in 2017 was also marred by a fixing scandal, resulting in a five-year ban on Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif

Source: 27 April 2020,

Yahoo sports

Cricket

https://sports.yahoo.com/pakistans-umar-akmal-banned-three-years-pcb-115711517--spt.html

POLICY Australia David Sharpe appointed as chief executive of new Sports Integrity Australia unit

David Sharpe says he is "honoured" to be appointed as the chief executive of the new Sports Integrity Australia (SIA) unit which opens later this year.

The SIA, which is being established by the Australian Government following its Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements, launches on July 1, and will bring together national sports organisations, athletes and agencies, with the aim of protecting the integrity of the country's sport.

Sharpe, a former chief Assistant Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, is currently chair of the Australian Sports AntiDoping Authority (ASADA).

SIA will combine the current functions of ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU), and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia.

Sharpe said he was "honoured" to be appointed to the newly-created post by the country's Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck.

"I would like to thank the Government and Minister Colbeck for having faith in me to do the job," said Sharpe.

"Together, as a team, we are powerful.

"We can put a protective, ethical ring around sport to protect it from those seeking to corrupt or exploit the vulnerable for their own gain. "This is an opportunity to share and learn from each other because, after all, we are all here to protect sport.

"In these unsettled times as sport collectively deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, sport requires certainty, fairness and leadership."

Among the areas of focus for the new unit when it opens will be tackling any threats posed by state sponsored doping, the infiltration of sport by organised crime or corruption within sport.

The setup of the unit has been made possible by cooperation from ASADA, NISU, Sport Australia and the Department of Health.

Sharpe added: "I would also like to put on the record the Government’s commitment to ensuring SIA has the resources to not only be operational but has the capabilities to collaborate with others to get the job done."

Source: Neil Shefferd,

3 May 2020,

Inside the Games

All Sports

https://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1093860/sharpe-appointed-new-sia-chief-executive

CORRUPTION FIFA Swiss politicians call for FIFA investigation-bungler Lauber to be fired

More Swiss parliamentarians have joined calls for the nation’s attorney general Michael Lauber to resign after the five-year statute of limitations in the 2006 World Cup fraud investigation expired last week with no verdicts.

After the Conservative MP Lorenz Hess filed a request for a dismissal procedure to be initiated last week, saying Lauber’s position was no longer tenable, other political groups are now also demanding he steps down.

Following a meeting on Saturday, the socialist group indicated it could no longer support the state prosecutor who has come under severe pressure, particularly over his controversial undocumented meetings with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino.

The group’s leader Roger Nordmann was quoted as saying: “Michael Lauber must now suffer the consequences and resign. Otherwise, the socialist group will support the motion opening an indictment procedure.”

All Switzerland’s federal parties, with the exception of the Liberal-radical Party (PLR), one of whose leaders, Christian Lüscher, is reported to be a long-time friend of Lauber, are now reported to be opposed to him continuing.

The vice-president of the Judicial Commission and social democratic deputy Matthias Aebischer was quoted as saying: “The damage caused to the institutions is immense. If the federal prosecutor does not resign on his own initiative now, I will support the impeachment procedure, because things cannot continue like this.”

Source: 4 May 2020,

INSIDE World

Futbol

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/05/04/swiss-politicians-call-fifa-investigation-bungler-lauber-fired/

Germany Franz Beckenbauer: Trial of German football legend on corruption charges ends without verdict

The trial of German football legend Franz Beckenbauer on corruption charges has been ended without a verdict.

The five-year long trial, held in Switzerland, had been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic and the statute of limitations has now expired.

Beckenbauer was one of four men investigated over suspected corruption linked to the 2006 World Cup.

The 74-year-old, who won the World Cup as a player in 1974, and manager in 1990, had denied the allegations.

World football's governing body Fifa said it was "deeply disappointed" that the trial would not go ahead.

Fifa's statement added: "The fact that the case has now ended without a result of any kind is very worrying, not only for football, but for the administration of justice in Switzerland."

In Switzerland, the maximum time in which criminal proceedings can be carried out on a fraud allegation is 15 years.

The courts no longer have jurisdiction over Beckenbauer's case as it relates to an incident in 2005.

Beckenbaur was the head of the World Cup organising committee when Germany were named hosts for the 2006 World Cup.

He was accused of making two payments totalling £8.4m to former Fifa executive Mohamed bin Hammam in 2005.

In October 2015, Beckenbauer said he did not give "money to anyone in order to buy votes".

Germany beat South Africa 12-11 in the World Cup vote, which took place in July 2000.

Source: 28 April 2020,

BBC Football

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/52463703

India ICC hands two-year ban to Deepak Agarwal for breaching Anti-Corruption code

NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday banned Deepak Agarwal, an Indian businessman who owned a franchise in the 2018 T10 League held in the UAE after he admitted to obstructing an ongoing anti-corruption investigation.

Six months of this two-year ban is a suspended sentence due to the cooperation he has offered since admitting his violation of the anti-corruption code.

Source: 29 April 2020,

The Times of India Cricket

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/news/icc-hands-two-year-ban-to-deepak-agarwal-for-breaching-anti-corruptioncode/articleshow/75451615.cms

Switzerland Swiss set trial date for PSG chief, ex-FIFA no.2

Lausanne (AFP) - A Swiss court on Tuesday scheduled a September trial date for Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and FIFA's former secretary general Jerome Valcke, in an alleged corruption case.

The case, involving the pair and a third, unnamed man, relates to alleged criminal mismanagement, incitement to criminal mismanagement, falsifying documents and corruption, the Federal Criminal Court said on its website.

The court is based in the southeastern Swiss city of Bellinzona.

When filing the indictment in February, the office of Switzerland's attorney general (OAG) said the men faced charges linked "with the award of media rights to various World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments." 

After the date was set on Tuesday, Al-Khelaifi's lawyers issued a statement insisting the case was "completely unfounded", and said the allegation against their client was "manifestly artificial."

They also indicated that they had requested the recusal of the prosecutors in the case and had filed a criminal complaint related to leaks, "making it uncertain whether the case will proceed at all."

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the boss of Qatari television channel BeIN Sports, had been suspected of giving inappropriate gifts to Valcke, formerly ex-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter's right-hand man, in order to secure broadcast rights to prestigious events, including the World Cup.

But in February, the OAG said it dropped "a criminal complaint of bribery" against Al-Khelaifi linked to the award of media rights for World Cup tournaments in 2026 and 2030 and other events, after FIFA withdrew the complaint it was based on, following an "amicable agreement" with Al-Khelaifi.

Prosecutors however accused him of inciting the non-reporting of a gift.

The indictment in February also accused the third man, described as "a businessman in the sports rights sector", of bribery over a 1.25-million-euro ($1.35 million) payment to Valcke's company Sportunited LLC.

Valcke meanwhile stands accused of exploiting his position at FIFA between 2013 and 2015 to influence the award of media rights for Italy and Greece for various World Cup and other tournaments scheduled between 2018 and 2030 "in order to favour media partners that he preferred," in exchange for the payments from the unnamed businessman, according to that indictment.

He has also been charged with falsifying documents, after Sportsunited's balance sheet listed those payments as loans.

Switzerland's judiciary last week rejected a request from Al-Khelaifi for three federal prosecutors in the case to be recused, over claims that during a hearing on December 6, 2019, he had not been given enough time to address all of the aspects of the case he deemed were necessary.

Valcke, who worked with Blatter from 2003 to 2015, has already been banned from football for 10 years for failing to cooperate with investigators over the resale of World Cup tickets and inflated expenses.

Source: 29 April 2020,

Yahoo sports

Football

https://sports.yahoo.com/swiss-try-psg-chief-al-khelaifi-ex-fifa-170220606--sow.html

United States Israeli bank agrees to pay $30m over role in Fifa scandal

Israel-based Bank Hapoalim B.M. (BHBM) and its Swiss subsidiary, Hapoalim Ltd, have agreed to forfeit $20.7m (€18.9m) and pay a fine of $9.3m to resolve an investigation into their involvement in a money laundering conspiracy involving Fifa, football’s global governing body.

In a statement released yesterday (Thursday), the US Department of Justice announced that BHBM and Hapoalim Ltd, also known as BHS, admitted that they, through certain employees, conspired to launder over $20m in bribes and kickbacks to officials from Fifa and other football federations.

From approximately December 10, 2010 to February 20, 2015, BHBM and BHS personnel were found to have conspired with sports marketing executives, including executives associated with Full Play, a sports and media and marketing business based in Argentina, among others, to launder at least $20.7m in bribes and kickbacks

The US DOJ said that in exchange for these bribes and kickbacks, football officials awarded or steered broadcasting rights for matches and tournaments to these sports marketing executives and their companies. Full Play is alleged to have executed the illegal payments from accounts at BHS and BHBM’s branch in Miami, Florida.

On March 18, Full Play, among others, was changed with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. BHBM and BHS have also admitted to conspiring to launder money for Luis Bedoya, the former president of the Colombian Football Federation who also served as vice-president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) and was a member of Fifa’s executive committee.

According to the US DOJ, BHBM’s Miami branch and BHS allowed accounts controlled by Bedoya to receive illicit bribe and kickback payments. Bedoya pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy on November 12, 2015.

Eugenio Figueredo, former president of Conmebol was also among those accused of receiving the bribes, the Associated Press reported. Sergio Jadue and Rafael Esquivel, the respective presidents of the Chilean and Venezuelan federations, were also implicated, along with Jose Luis Chiriboga, the son of the president of the Ecuadorian federation.

The US DOJ said that BHS failed to take action despite repeated concerns raised by compliance personnel about certain payments made to football officials from accounts associated with Full Play. The banks’ relationship managers continued executing illicit bribe and kickback payments on behalf of Full Pay, the US DOJ added.

Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said: “For nearly five years, Bank Hapoalim employees used the US financial system to launder tens of millions of dollars in bribe payments to corrupt soccer officials in multiple countries. Today’s announcement demonstrates the department’s commitment to holding financial institutions to account when they knowingly facilitate corruption and other criminal conduct.”

William Sweeney, of the FBI’s New York Field Office and the assistant director in charge of the investigation, added: “This announcement illustrates another aspect in the spider web of bribery, corruption and backroom deals going on behind the scenes as soccer games were played on the field.

“Bank Hapoalim admits executives looked the other way, and allowed illicit activity to continue even when employees discovered the scheme and reported it. The New York FBI Eurasian Organised Crime Task Force and our law enforcement partners have doggedly pursued every strand uncovered in this criminal investigation, and will keep at it until they root out all of the bad actors.”

The US government’s decision to enter into a non-prosecution agreement with BHBM and BHS will result in the closure of BHBM’s Miami branch and Bank Hapoalim (Latin America). BHS is also in the process of closing its operations.

Source: 1 May 2020,

Sports business

Football

https://www.sportbusiness.com/news/israeli-bank-agrees-to-pay-30m-over-role-in-fifa-scandal/

 

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 13-27 April 2020

Mon, 2020-04-27 05:25
INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 13-27 April 2020 INVESTIGATIONS Greece Greek Football Giants Olympiacos Threatened with Relegation

A new scandal is brewing in Greek football. Following allegations of match-fixing Olympiacos are threatened with relegation and Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis may face a life-long ban from the sport.

Altogether 15 individuals and the two clubs, Olympiacos and Atromitos, are accused according to the provisions of Article 27 of the Code of Conduct of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) about “fixing the result of a match for betting purposes”.

The allegations by the investigative department of EPO’s Ethics Committee are now forwarded to the judicial department of the same committee.

The allegations are centered on a 2015 match between Olympiacos and Atromitos which the Piraeus club won 2-1.

Among the persons accused are Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Olympiacos as well as Nottingham Forest, Giorgos Spanos who owns Atromitos, former EPO president Giorgos Sarris and vice-president Aristidis Stathopoulos, three more former EPO officials, six former referees and refereeing officials and former Atromitos manager Ricardo Sa Pinto.

If found guilty, Marinakis will have to relinquish control not only of Olympiacos but also of Nottingham Forest.

Source: 26 April 2020,

Greek Reporter

Football

https://greece.greekreporter.com/2020/04/26/greek-football-giants-olympiacos-threatened-with-relegation/

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS Spain Prison for nine of the eleven accused in the ‘Osasuna Case’

The Second Section of the Provincial Court of Navarra has notified the ruling of the so-called “Osasuna Case”. The first conviction for the crime of sports corruption in Spain sentencing 9 of the eleven accused to between 8 years and 8 months and one year in prison of the Os Osasuna case ’. The most serious sentence is that imposed on former manager Ángel Vizcay, on whom he imposes a total of 8 years and 8 months in prison. The court acquits Diego Maquirriain, former manager of the Osasuna Foundation, and footballer Jordi Figueras. The sentence, which can be appealed to the Supreme Court and which has been handed down in less than two months since the trial ended, unanimously condemns Ángel María Vizcay, Miguel Archanco, Juan Antonio Pascual, Jesús Peralta, Sancho Bandrés, Cristina Valencia, Albert Nolla, Antonio Amaya and Xabier Torres and acquits Diego Antonio Maquirriain and Jordi Figueras.

The penalties imposed for crimes of misappropriation, falsehood in a commercial document, accounting falsehood and sports corruption range from the total of 8 years to 8 months in prison imposed on Ángel M. Vizcay Ventura and that of one year in prison to which the two footballers, Antonio Amaya and Xabier Torres, are sentenced for the crime of sports corruptionto.

The most serious sentence is that imposed on former manager Ángel Vizcay whom the Second Section of the Provincial Court condemns:

 – For a continuous crime of misappropriation to 4 years and three months in prison and 12 months of fine with a daily fee of forty euros.

 – For two crimes of falsehood in a commercial document in ideal competition with a crime of false accounting to the penalties of 2 years in prison and 9 months of fine with a daily fee of forty euros for each of them.

– To a prison term of 5 months, in addition to eleven months of special disqualification to practice as manager or similar in a sports association and a fine of three hundred twenty-five thousand euros for a crime of sports corruption.

The sentence totals 8 years and 8 months in prison.

The sentence condemns former President Miguel Archanco Taberna and former director Jesús Peralta Gracia:

– A sentence of three years and eight months in prison and a nine-month fine with a daily fee of forty euros for a continued crime of misappropriation.

– A sentence of two years in prison and a nine-month fine with a daily fee of forty euros for a crime of falsehood in a commercial document in ideal competition with a crime of accounting falsehood.

– A penalty of one year in prison and two years of disqualification from exercising managerial or similar position in any sports association and a fine of nine hundred thousand euros for a crime of sports corruption.

Total penalties with 6 years and 8 months.

The then vice president of the board of directors, Juan Antonio Pascual Leache is imposed:

– A sentence of three years and six months in prison and a fine of nine months with a daily fee of thirty euros for a continued crime of misappropriation.

– A sentence of two years in prison and a nine-month fine with a daily fee of thirty euros for a crime of falsehood in a commercial document in ideal competition with a crime of accounting falsehood.

– A penalty of one year in prison, two years of disqualification from exercising managerial or similar position in any sports association, in addition to a fine of nine hundred thousand euros for a crime of sports corruption.

The total sentence is 6 years and 6 months.

The Hearing acquits the treasurer of the board of directors, Sancho Bandrés of the crime of sports corruption and condemns him for misappropriation and falsehood by imposing on him:

– A sentence of three years and six months in prison and a fine of nine months with a daily fee of forty euros for a continued crime of misappropriation.

– A sentence of two years in prison and a nine-month fine with a daily fee of forty euros for a crime of falsehood in a commercial document in ideal competition with a crime of accounting falsehood.

The prison sentence is 5 years and 6 months.

To the real estate agents Cristina Valencia and Albert Nolla each of them is sentenced to nine months in prison and a six-month fine with a daily fee of thirty euros for a crime of falsification in a commercial document. Lastly, the two former Real Betis players, Antonio Amaya and Xabier Torres, are condemned for a crime of sports corruption, each sentenced to one year in prison and two years of disqualification from the activity of professional soccer and nine hundred thousand euros fine.

The sentence also imposes on the convicted the obligation to indemnify Club Atlético Osasuna in the amount of 2,340,000 euros amount to which the irregular outflow of funds amounts during the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 seasons of the club, to which is added in the case of Messrs. Archanco and Peralta an amount of 1,000 euros and 2,600.80 euros respectively for the improperly received per diems and 600,000 euros in the case of Mr. Vizcay for a loan with an unknown destination returned from the club's accounts. Likewise, Mr. Vizcay must indemnify Mr. Archanco in the amount of 5,000 euros for the moral damage derived from the falsification of his signature.

The three magistrates of the Second Section of the Provincial Court impose greater penalties on the then manager of the club Ángel María Vizcay, by including in his sentence for the continued crime of misappropriation the loan of 600,000 that he obtained from an individual. They also consider him solely responsible for the crime of falsehood committed in the 2013/2014 season with the preparation of the false contract with the Portuguese entity Flefield and the creation of three simulated invoices to balance the mismatch of the aforementioned season. The sentence also proves that the manager Mr. Vizcay falsified said contract, stating in it a signature that appeared to be that of the former president Mr. Archanco.

However, they conclude that it is appropriate to benefit Mr. Vizcay with respect to the crime of sports corruption, applying the analog mitigating confession in this sentence. The three magistrates consider that the statement made by the then manager of the club before the Professional Football League and maintained in the act of trial has been decisive in order to investigate the facts and support the conviction for this crime. Based on this, they reduce their sentence for this crime to the aforementioned of five months in prison and eleven months of disqualification.

The penalty imposed on the former president of the Board of Directors, Miguel. A. Archanco and former director Jesús Peralta for the continued crime of misappropriation includes the improper perception of diets by both.

It is the first sentence issued in Spain that condemns the crime of sports corruption. The Audience understands that It has been proven that the convicts, members at that time of the Board of Directors, agreed to give priority to the former Real Betis players, Srs. Amaya and Torres in order to alter the results of the sports competition, paying a total of 650,000 euros to encourage their victory against Real Valladolid on matchday 37 of the 2013/2014 season to win the match against Osasuna on matchday 38.

Source: 24 April 2020,

Sports finding

Football

https://sportsfinding.com/prison-for-nine-of-the-eleven-accused-in-the-osasuna-case/31873/

Tennis Integrity Unit French tennis official Anthony Pravettoni suspended and fined for betting on tennis offences

French tennis official Anthony Pravettoni has been suspended for eight months and fined $5,000 for betting on tennis offences. Three months of the suspension and $4,500 of the fine are suspended on condition that he commits no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

On that basis he will serve a five month suspension, effective from 9 April 2020, and pay a fine of $500

A Tennis Integrity Unit investigation found that between 24th February and 27th August 2019, Mr Pravettoni placed 42 bets on professional tennis matches, none of which he officiated in.

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Ian Mill QC considered the case and imposed the suspension and fine. As a result Mr Pravettoni is prohibited from officiating in, or attending, any sanctioned event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport for a period of five months effective from 9th April 2020.

All betting on tennis by match officials and other Covered Persons is strictly prohibited, as per Section D.1.a of the TACP, which states: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager, conspire to wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition.”

Source: 14 April 2020,

Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

GOOD PRACTICES Malta The Malta Gaming Authority signs Data Sharing Agreement with the International Cricket Council

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has recently established a data-sharing agreement with the International Cricket Council (ICC). The ICC is the international governing body of cricket and is made up of over 100 national governing bodies from around the world. The ICC governs and administrates the sport, stages ICC global events, oversees playing regulations and through the Integrity Unit coordinates action against corruption and match fixing. This agreement will facilitate the sharing of information between the two parties, in fulfilment of the requirements at law. The MGA’s Sports Integrity Manager, Antonio Zerafa stated that, “This data sharing agreement with the ICC represents the Authority’s on-going commitment of combatting match-fixing and other types of manipulation in sports. In fact, this agreement will allow the MGA and the ICC to share crucial data related to the process of detecting, preventing and investigating activities related to manipulation of sports competitions.”

Source: George Miller, 20 April 2020,

European Gaming

Cricket

https://europeangaming.eu/portal/malta/2020/04/20/68879/the-malta-gaming-authority-signs-data-sharing-agreement-with-the-international-cricket-council/

 Tennis Integrity Unit, Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board reaches decisions on Return to Tennis campaign, naming of new integrity organisation and anti-doping integration

The Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board (Board) met by video conference on 31 March 2020 to review and progress the ongoing work of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).

The Board was briefed on reporting and intelligence that indicated a heightened level of corrupt activity at the entry levels of professional tennis in early 2020, prior to the suspension of all tennis in March. This was evidenced by an increase in match alerts for the first quarter of the year (38 v 21 in 2019) and confidential information received from tennis and betting sources.

Return to Tennis campaign

In recognition of the unique circumstances created by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Board approved a proposal by TIU management to develop a cost effective Return to Tennis education and awareness campaign. This will inform and support players, officials and tournament personnel about the potential integrity risks posed.

This is in addition to the ongoing monitoring, investigation and enforcement of the sport’s anti-corruption code by TIU investigators and intelligence specialists.

All governing bodies supported this pre-emptive approach and will collaborate with the TIU on the project, with immediate effect.

Jennie Price, the independent Chair of the Board, said: “It’s imperative that when tennis is able to resume, everyone involved is aware of the potential integrity risks. The Board was unanimous in its support for a Return to Tennis campaign to inform and protect the players, and to guard against the threat to the integrity of the sport.”

Progress on creation of a new independent tennis integrity organisation

Work towards establishing a new independent tennis integrity organisation with its own legal identity is well advanced. The Board resolved that the new company will be called the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and will become operational from 1st January 2021. At that time, the ITIA will replace the current TIU, with staff becoming employees of the new company.

Integration of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme

The Board decided that plans to integrate the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) within the new ITIA from January 2021 should continue, but on a delayed timeline. This decision recognises that, in the prevailing extreme circumstances, the overriding need is for full focus to be maintained on the anti-corruption programme, until the tennis calendar is fully restored. In the meantime, planning for the transition of the TADP into the ITIA will continue.

Source: 16 April 2020,

Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://elinkeu.clickdimensions.com/m/1/84431288/p1-b20107-d1fbbe6534e246aa90cea6466b507e24/1/84/1fcf5a2e-fa23-463a-8712-996faf5e098c

ODDS AND ENDS Australia "Me ofrecieron 100.000 dólares por perder en primera ronda del Open de Australia 2009"

Sergiy Stakhovsky, ex número 31 del ránking, eleva las acusaciones de amaños hasta la categoría de los Grand Slams. Stakhovsky, durante un partido ante Melzer, en Wimbledon 2013. REUTERS

"En el Open de Australia de 2009 me ofrecieron 100.000 dólares por perder ante Arnaud Clement en primera ronda". La revelación de Sergiy Stakhovsky sacudió a este lunes a un tenis paralizado por la pandemia. Y es que el ucraniano, verdugo de Roger Federer en Wimbledon 2013, eleva a la categoría de los Grand Slams una lacra que hasta ahora sólo parecía salpicar a los torneos Challengers y Futures.

"La oferta me la hicieron llegar dos personas que se hacían llamar inversores", reveló el ex número 31 del ránking ATP, en declaraciones a una radio ucraniana. Aquel 20 de enero de 2009, tras casi tres horas y media de tenis, Clement remontó (6-3, 2- 6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1) para apuntarse el triunfo.

Más de una década después, Stakhovsky aún guarda un amargo recuerdo de aquel funesto episodio. "Si me hubiese encontrado con esa gente cuando salí de la pista les habría golpeado con la raqueta", rememora el ucraniano, que nunca suele refugiarse en las medias tintas ante los micrófonos. "¿Podéis proteger a mi familia?"

Según su testimonio, nada más acabar aquel partido en Melbourne Park curso una reclamación en la Unidad de Integridad del Tenis (TIU), donde le pidieron que identificase a los implicados. "Entonces les tuve que parar los pies y les dije: '¿Estáis listos para proteger a mi familia?'. Porque puede que aquellos dos personajes sólo fueran peones, pero quienes estuvieran por encima serían más peligrosos". Según Stakhovsky, la respuesta de la TIU fue que "no podían garantizarme nada".

Por aquel entonces, Stakhovsky reunía las condiciones idóneas para ser atrapado por las redes de amaños. Con 23 años recién cumplidos, sólo había disputado un partido de Grand Slam (derrota ante David Ferrer en Wimbledon 2008) y podía verse tentado por esos 100.000 dólares, una cantidad tres veces superior al premio por alcanzar la segunda ronda (31.000 dólares).

Source: 14 April 2020,

El Mundo

Tennis

https://www.elmundo.es/deportes/tenis/2020/04/13/5e9495ba21efa0bf098b4627.html

MATCH FIXING ECB Cricket match-fixers actively targeting players during lockdown

layers around the world have been warned to remain vigilant of approaches from match-fixers despite coronavirus having put the sport on hold.

The last elite-level professional match took place behind closed doors on 15 March in the Pakistan Super League, before its semifinals and final were postponed, and since then players globally have been in lockdown waiting for a resumption.

Such a lull in on-field activity might suggest a drop-off in potential fixing approaches from the criminal underworld but Alex Marshall, head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit in Dubai, insists this does not necessarily follow. “Covid-19 may have put a temporary stop on the playing of international and domestic cricket around the world but the corrupters are still active,” Marshall said.

“As a result, our work with members, players, player associations and agents continues. We are seeing known corrupters use this time, when players are on social media more than ever, to connect with them and try to build a relationship that they can exploit at a later date.

“We have reached out to our members, players and their wider networks to highlight this issue and ensure they all continue to be aware of the dangers of approaches and do not let their guard down while there is no cricket being played.”

As well as players spending more time interacting with fans on social media at present, Marshall’s team are mindful the drop in income could make some of the less well-paid professionals more vulnerable. ames Pyemont, the ECB’s head of integrity, added: “There will always be someone to make something out of a crisis and view it as an opportunity. We have to be confident we can withstand that pressure and we’re confident our players will do the right thing. The time is now to show this is a robust system.”

April would typically be a quiet month for the ICC’s anti-corruption team, with no international cricket staged and the IPL – now suspended indefinitely – policed by India’s in-house anti-corruption unit since last year.

The investigative work continues, however, and a number of cases are expected to be progressed in the coming weeks. These are believed to include the three United Arab Emirates players – Mohammed Naveed, Qadeer Ahmed and Shaiman Anwar – who were charged with a combined 13 counts of breaching anti-corruption rules last October. Marshall revealed in January that his team was looking into 50 cases of potential wrongdoing in the sport – including intelligence gathered during last year’s World Cup in the UK – and sifts through around 1,000 pieces of evidence a year.

Shakib Al Hasan is the most high-profile cricketer serving a ban under the ICC’s anti-corruption code, with the Bangladesh captain accepting three charges of failing to report approaches from Deepak Aggarwal, a suspected bookmaker, last October

A veteran of 338 international appearances, Shakib engaged in Whatsapp conversations with Aggarwal before matches in the Bangladesh Premier League, an international tri-series and the IPL between 2017 and 2018, but denied passing on inside information.

A two-year ban, with 12 months of it suspended, was the result, meaning Shakib is free to resume his playing career on 29 October.

Source: 18 April 2020,

The Guardian

Cricket

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/apr/18/match-fixers-targeting-cricketers-lockdown-icc-warning?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

International Cricket Council anti-corruption unit (ACU) Match-fixers 'still very much alive'

HE Covid-19 pandemic may have wiped out all sporting events worldwide but it doesn't mean match-fixers are eradicated.

International Cricket Council anti-corruption unit (ACU) senior investigator Colin Tennant disclosed: "The pandemic has not halted the activities of fixers who are very imaginative.

"They can easily adapt their strategy to ensure things are in place when everything gets back to normal," said Tennant during an Anti-Corruption Webinar course involving 67 representatives of the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) on Wednesday.

He said match-fixers have been known to use social media to reach out to players and entice them into acts of corruption.

"We have seen fixers using contacts on WhatsApp and Facebook to try to put people more at ease

"We have reports about sponsorship deals or opportunities to play in a particular league.

"They will pay for you to travel and meet them, all expenses paid.

"This should set off alarm bells," added Tennant, who spoke about the methods match-fixers use to entice players into their traps. National coach Bilal Asad said: "Corruption is not an accident. It is the result of human arrogance, greed and indifference to those who are its victims. It is a crime.

"This briefing regarding the three Rs — Recognise, Reject and Report — was helpful.

"We need to be careful when dealing with strangers who approach us.

"Rejecting offers or gifts is the best way to keep away from trouble and reporting it is the only way to clean the sport."

"We understand that we have to report to the management if approached by fixers," she said.

Source: Jugjet Singh, 24 April 2020, New Straits Times Cricket https://www.nst.com.my/sports/others/2020/04/587034/match-fixers-still-very-much-alive

Pakistan PCB looks at legislation to criminalise match-fixing menace

Lahore, April 15 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board has asked the government to frame a law that would criminalise match-fixing and spot-fixing in cricket.

"I have already spoken to the government about this because other cricket playing nations like Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka have enacted laws that make match-fixing a criminal offence," PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in a podcast shared on their social media handles.

The PCB had closely followed the procedure adopted by the Sri Lankan board, Mani said, while legislating its law against match fixers

"We are studying their procedure closely and we also want corruption acts in cricket to be considered a criminal act," he said.

But until and unless this is put in place, the PCB would continue to follow the existing ICC Anti-Corruption Code which allows players to return to cricket again after completing a ban period and rehabilitation process.

"I will not talk about individuals but right now players who have completed bans and undergone rehab have the right to play again and it applies to everyone," he said.

Recently, former Pakistan captain and decorated commentator Ramiz Raja has said tainted players like left-arm pacer Mohammed Amir should not be allowed to play.

Pakistan batting great Javed Miandad had also said that cricketers involved in match-fixing should be hanged.

Recently, left-handed opener Sharjeel was offered another chance to play for the national team after completing a two and a half year ban for spot-fixing in the Pakistan Super League.

Source: 15 April 2020,

Outlook Cricket

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/pcb-looks-at-legislation-to-criminalise-matchfixing-menace/1803011

Sweden Dickson Etuhu Banned from Swedish Football for Five Years for Match-Fixing Attempt

Dickson Etuhu, the 37-year old Nigerian professional football player who in November 2019 was found guilty for match-fixing by a Swedish court, has been banned from football in Sweden for 5 years.

The former Manchester City player was flagged by a fellow team member for attempting to influence the outcome of a game between AIK, the team Etuhu joined as a free agent in 2014, and IFK Gothenburg in May 2017.

The Approach After AIK’s first choice goalkeeper was out of the game with an injury, reserve goalkeeper, Canadian-born Kyriakos Stamatopoulos, was approached by Etuhu and another player, former IFK Rössjöholm Alban Jusufi, and offered SEK2 million /£160,000/ to underperform during the game. Instead, the former Canada keeper reported the bribery attempt and the match got flagged and postponed.

 The Sentence Etuhu denied any involvement but a lengthy investigation followed and in November last year the court found the player guilty of attempting a match-fixing. The Nigerian international was fined and ordered to serve a period of probation avoiding being sentenced to prison time. His lawyers announced they would appeal the decision before a supreme court.

The Ban The Swedish Football Association /SVFF/ has now taken action and served both Dickson Etuhu and Alban Jusufi with 5-year bans from any official football-related activities in the country.

“The Disciplinary Board has decided to suspend two people because they have deliberately tried to persuade a football player to underperform in one of the team’s matches. Through their actions, these people have violated the anti-match fixing regulations, and they are therefore suspended for five years. The ban includes training, competing or performing any assignments in any sports.”

Official SVFF Statement The SVFF disciplinary board elected to impose the 5-year ban having in mind two factors. First, it related to the top football division in the country and stirred huge media attention. Second, the perpetration was only an attempt to match-fixing and did not deserve the maximum possible 10-year ban penalty.

Player Career Etuhu, who had a lengthy career in England with Preston, Norwich, Sunderland, Fulham, and Blackburn, before moving to Sweden in 2014, switched clubs shortly after the bribery attempt became public and investigated, to IFK Rössjöholm.

Dickson Etuhu was also involved in another incident during his career in England, this time on the pitch. In 2005, during his third season with Preston, the Nigerian player’s erratic form resulted into him moving to Norwich midway through the season, on loan.

Having no clause to prevent him from playing against the parent club, his first match for the Canaries turned out to be at Carrow Road against Preston. During that game, Etuhu went clumsily into a challenge and broke the leg of Adam Nowland, an injury that put an end to the footballing career of the new Preston addition in midfield, the area where earlier Etuhu lost his starting place in the Lilywhites squad.

Match-fixing is an issue that has been tormenting bookmakers in Sweden for years, with the latest from gaming and sports betting company Svenska Spel, asking for sharper regulatory measures to help eliminate such practices.

Source: Simon Deloit,

19 April 2020,

Gambling News

Football

https://www.gamblingnews.com/news/dickson-etuhu-banned-from-swedish-football-for-five-years-for-match-fixing-attempt/

United Kingdom Moses Swaibu: 'I realised I was someone who could make a difference'

Moses Swaibu remembers the first time he was offered a bribe like it was yesterday. A tall and elegant central defender who had come through Crystal Palace’s youth system, the 19-year-old was taking the first steps of his senior career in League Two with Lincoln when he and two teammates were summoned to another player’s hotel room at close to midnight on an away trip.

“He put money in front of us and said: ‘I want you guys to lose and that’s how much I’m willing to pay,’” Swaibu says. “It was a wad of cash worth €60,000 but we all said we weren’t interested. The next day no one who had been in the room said anything on our morning walk and it turns out we were all on the bench anyway. That was the last I heard.

“It was my introduction to that world,” he adds, more than 10 years on. “I will always remember seeing that amount of money in front of me and knowing I couldn’t say anything because of loyalty to my teammates and him being the type of person that he was … I’d been playing street football just a few years ago so I was thinking to myself: ‘Is this normal?’ There was no form of education to help you. I was put in a situation with a teammate who I trusted and believed in.”

In 2015 Swaibu served four months of a 16-month sentence after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery following an investigation into match-fixing and an alleged betting syndicate. After being released by Lincoln in January 2011, he dropped out of the league and admits he has only himself to blame for the way things unravelled. He was playing for Bromley during the period of his offences.

In prison Swaibu formulated an idea to run workshops to ensure other young players do not make the same mistakes. Since 2019 he has used these to advise young players on how to deal with potential pitfalls, including betting, match-fixing and spotfixing

“Being in the cell for 23 hours a day made me realise how important it is to be humble but also how privileged I had been. It was probably one of the best lessons that could have ever happened to me. In my childhood I had a tough and difficult upbringing and I was involved in things I’m not proud of. When I came out I thought to myself: ‘How am I going to be a better person for myself, for my family and obviously for my kids?’

“I realised I was someone who could make a difference, so I started writing down ideas for when I came out to see how we could stop this happening to other young players.

“Within two days of my release I was contacted by Gordon Taylor and Simon Barker from the PFA and when I told them my idea they said: ‘We’re here to help.’ It took a while – you have to realise if someone is in my position and has been convicted then other people are going to be like: ‘Woah, hold on a minute.’ But I’ve always been determined to make this happen.”

The workshops – instigated jointly by the PFA, Football Association and Premier League as part of the FA’s integrity programme – are compulsory for top-flight academies. Swaibu initially featured in a short film telling his story but now he attends and answers questions.

“Players that engage in our sessions are made well aware of the rules and that is why the change has been so significant. In my day there wasn’t any education around – who could I turn to? Not my teammates or even my manager. “I didn’t realise the impact it had until I got feedback from some of the players. I was surprised at some of the questions they were asking given they were at such a big club. They were asking what were the right things to do in certain situations and asking me about my career and why it went wrong.

“They were really engaged. I may not have played top-level football but I can relate to them because we all have come from the streets and hearing what I have been through can help them to make the right decisions.” Swaibu is also heavily involved in his local community having established a mentorship programme designed to provide disadvantaged young players with support and training equipment. He has not played since November 2013 when he was with non-league Whitehawk, after a lifetime FA ban. “I was done with football anyway. At 24 I’d had enough.”

Enthusiastic and passionate about his new calling, Swaibu is willing to talk openly about the mistakes he has made. At Lincoln he achieved notoriety after being arrested for stealing a cooked chicken from Tesco before being arrested at the same store for allegedly stealing a newspaper. The charges were dropped but Swaibu believes he was targeted by police because of some of the company he had been keeping.

“A close friend was arrested for some other charges and the police thought I was involved in that. There was one time when we were about to play an FA Cup tie and I was called by the chairman and told my house was going to be raided by the police. I’m happy to admit my life off the pitch wasn’t as professional as it should have been.” Swaibu believes his departure from Lincoln began his rapid decline. He met two men posing as agents when he joined Bromley. “That was when the whole conspiracy started. The people who were claiming to be agents were actually match-fixers. We knewthat, they knew that and we all got arrested. It was naivety. But if I hadn’t seen what I saw when I was 19 I would have just ignored it.

“There is no real form of governance in non-league football and it will always be a much bigger threat. If you have clubs that pay wages under the table or sometimes struggle to pay salaries then if you are offered the chance to make some quick money you are more likely to do it.

“Only 1% of players at academies make it to the Football League and the other 99% trickle down through the system so there is an obvious danger some could be targeted. Football is a bubble and if you’ve been wrapped up in that since a young age then you are going to think you are owed specific things, even if you drop out of the league.”

Source: Ed Aarons,

16 April 2020,

The Guardian Football

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/apr/16/moses-swaibu-make-a-difference

United States Sportsbooks struggling, Vegas embraces esports betting despite match-fixing concerns

Before covid-19, casinos in Las Vegas would have laughed at the prospect of an esports-centric betting operation. But now, searching for alternative events amid the sports-less coronavirus pandemic, Las Vegas has warmed to the idea.

This week, a month after traditional sports across the country shut down due to the virus, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) approved bets on four different esports series, adding to the slowly growing betting options for competitive gaming. Adding betting options is critically important to casinos in the current climate given their floors have been closed due to the virus, shuttering table games and forcing gambling to app and online formats.

As the regulatory government body that oversees America’s gambling capital, the Nevada GCB serves as a barometer for much of the sports betting world. After first approving bets on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ESL Pro League Season 11 in North America and Germany, the board then opened up an ESL Dota 2 event and eNASCAR. This week, the biggest esports leagues in the country opened up as well. The League of Legends Championship Series in North America, the League of Legends European Championship and Overwatch League are now available for gambling in Las Vegas, as is the Call of Duty League, which was approved Thursday. While mainstream sports fans may not be familiar with those leagues, they’re probably more likely to hear about their upcoming competitions than some of the other live sporting events being considered by sports books.

“In terms of what sports are left, there’s Russian table tennis and Japanese sumo wrestling,” said Joe Asher, the CEO of William Hill, a leading sportsbook. “We were talking about Nicaraguan baseball, there’s some soccer in Belarus.”

Compared to the gambling jackpot that is March Madness, sumo wrestling and Belarusian soccer are couch change. Esports, with a steadily growing audience, particularly in the age 18-34 demographic, offers an intriguing alternative, but casinos are proceeding with caution.

The slow growth for esports betting interest in Vegas has to do both with the approval process for adding offerings to sports books and the uncertainty from casinos and oddsmakers around what is still a fledgling field, where machines necessarily filter the actions of players before results play out on screen.

“Each state has to approve an esports wager,” said Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming and Chairman of the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “Nobody can just approve all esports. There would be cheating, there would be no integrity. Right now you have to get approval for each match, which is pretty cumbersome, so the next phase in esports betting will be regulators getting comfortable.”

Schorr has been pushing esports betting forward in Vegas for five years. He worked with Asher to get William Hill into ESL’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) back in 2017, but esports were never a primary focus of the sportsbook. Now, William Hill is looking into esports more — even if it remains hesitant to take big bets.

Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky to square off in NHL 20 for coronavirus relief

“The amount we will allow people to bet on esports is much smaller [than traditional sports],” Asher said. “We wouldn’t think anything of someone betting a million bucks on the Super Bowl. For esports, we won’t go anywhere close to that. We take smaller stakes to help guard against any issues with the integrity of the event. When one individual sitting at home can determine the outcome of the event, that does limit the amount of money sportsbooks are willing to accept.”

For an example on how stringent those caps could be, Asher said the maximum amount William Hill would accept on a bet for the winner of the ESL Pro League: North America in CS:GO would be “a few thousand dollars.”

Esports bookmaking? Globally, it’s already a billion-dollar gambling industry

Some oddsmakers believe even that relatively small amount could expose casinos to significant liability, however. Someone who knows how the esports system works can still stretch betting limit restrictions into a decent payday, according to Billy “Krackman” Krakomberger, a professional sports handicapper and founder of Krackwins, highlighted in Showtime’s “Action” documentary series.

“Hypothetically, I could bet $1,000, and then I come back and bet another $1,000,” Krakomberger claimed. “If I were to know the outcome, or if I know someone is dumping, I can get down five or six grand on one event just at one sportsbook.”

A recent scandal has also brought attention back to match fixing — an issue with which esports grappled in its earlier day

In China, Wang “WeiYan” Xiang, a player for the Rogue Warriors in the League of Legends (LoL) Pro League, was exposed for match fixing. Images leaked of Xiang talking about match fixing in two March matches in which Xiang’s team won one and lost the other.

A few days after the second match, Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends and operator of its esports leagues, suspended Xiang for two years and fined his team 3 million RMB ($425,000).

How the League of Legends World Championship became the Super Bowl of esports

“Match fixing is definitely an issue [in China],” said Rahul Sood, the CEO and founder of Unikrn, an esports betting company backed by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, among other investors. “But match fixing is not an issue in League of Legends as a whole. This was just a strange situation and the punishment wasn’t even high enough. It should have been a lifetime suspension.”

Esports’ history with match fixing is long. In 2010, multiple players for the game StarCraft: Brood War were found tied to a match fixing scheme that ended in a trial. Five years later, another scandal hit StarCraft II. This time, Lee “Life” Seung Hyun, a previous world champion, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for match fixing. Outside of South Korean StarCraft, leading CS:GO team IBUYPOWER was embroiled in its own match fixing scandal for throwing a game against NetGearGuides.

“Match fixing has historically been more prominent in esports than sports,” said Rod “Slasher” Breslau, a longtime esports journalist. “But that was mostly because, back then, those players weren’t making much money. When you aren’t making a fulltime amount of money, and definitely not tens of millions like sports athletes, you are more tempted to go down this dark road and have match fixing.”

Being a professional esports player has only recently become a truly lucrative profession. The average LCS salary is now above $300,000 before prize pools, according to Chris Greeley, commissioner of the LCS. With prizes for Fortnite and Dota 2 eclipsing $30 million for one event and teams reportedly paying upward of $40 million for spots in the Overwatch League, the money in esports has increased substantially. That includes player contracts, leaving less incentives to fix matches.

In addition, the industry is better at monitoring suspicious bets. The scandals in 2015 in part led to the creation of the Esports Integrity Coalition in 2015, now the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC). The commission oversees almost every major thirdparty esports tournament organizer.

Riot’s esports plans for Valorant won’t mirror League of Legends — at least for now

“The ESIC proactively monitors the global betting on ESL matches and investigates any unusual or suspicious betting and has the power to prosecute alleged breaches of the anti-integrity code,” said Ian Smith, the commissioner of the ESIC.

For the Nevada GCB to approve esports bets, the agency must be comfortable with the degree of fair play. The ESIC and GCB have had an agreement in place since 2017 and the recent approval of Riot Games’s and Activision Blizzard’s esports leagues acknowledges solid integrity standards as well. While the regulated sportsbooks that dominate Las Vegas are still figuring out esports strategies, esports figures to be the only action in town for a while, until traditional sports can return.

Source: Mitch Reames,

17 April 2020,

The Washington Post eSport

s https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/esports/2020/04/17/vegas-esports-betting/

CORRUPTION India Indian players aware, quick to report: BCCI anti-corruption chief

The threat of online corrupt approaches does not cause much anxiety to BCCI's head of Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) Ajit Singh, who says Indian players are well aware of the modus operandi of fixers and are quick to report anything suspect.

The ICC ACU head Alex Marshall, in an interview to 'The Guardian', said that prolonged lockdown and players using various social media platform could lead to corrupt approaches being made and people need to tread carefully. Singh said BCCI ACU is in control.

"...we have made our players aware about the way people approach you and modus operandi through social media. We have told them 'look this is how they (potential fixers and bookies) would approach you'," the veteran IPS officer told PTI in an interaction.

"(They will) try and behave like a fan and then try to meet you through someone who may be your acquaintance," he added.

"Somehow these elements try and touch base with players. Most of them (India players), whenever it happens, they do report to us that I have got a contact."

Most of the top players, with millions of followers, have been very active online with Q and A sessions on Twitter, interactive chats on Instagram and Facebook live.

So, is the BCCI's ACU team tracking the online content? "Whatever can be tracked online, we do that. But obviously the physical verification part of going out and checking locations is out of question in times of a lockdown," he spoke about practical problems.

"But if something comes to our notice, it automatically goes into our database and once lockdown is over, we will verify those if the need arises."

Singh said the easiest aspect of tracking social media content is that it doesn't require too much manpower.

"A few men who know their jobs can do it pretty well," the former DGP of Rajasthan said.

But Singh said that, in his two year stint, all current India players have been honest and upright, very aware about their responsibilities.

"We are not adversaries of players. The players and ACU are one team. It's the people who are trying to corrupt the games, they are the ones we need to track down."

He said that both tracking social media and physical verification of corrupt approaches has its own set of challenges.

"Those who were trying to corrupt the players with physical presence and those using fake IDs on social media handles, converge at some point," he said.

"Either it's the same person with a fake ID who tries to approach the player or uses someone on his behalf. So there is a pattern of convergence. One has to follow both the lines," he added.

Singh said even former players have approached the ACU when they have found something unusual

"There have been things coming from current players and also retired players. There has been information coming from them. Things that they doubted, which look suspicious.

"Any information is useful. Even if it's a false alarm, it raises the awareness level of the players as well as the skills of the team investigating it," the retired top cop said.

There are some structural plans for the BCCI's ACU which will only materialise once normalcy returns after the COVID-19 pandemic

"Every zone will have a zonal head as it had been said earlier. A few zones don't have zonal heads, so we will fill those posts," he said.

Source: 19 April 2020,

The Week Cricket

https://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/04/19/indian-players-aware-quick-to-report-bcci-anti-corruption-chief.html

INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 31 March 2020 - 14 April 2020

Wed, 2020-04-15 05:25
INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 31 March 2020 - 14 April 2020 SENTENCES/SANCTIONS New Zealand Esports: Two players banned for a year after match throwing charge proven

Esports fans in New Zealand have been left stunned as players accused of match manipulation in a recent Rocket League game have been banned from competing for a year.

In a ruling on Wednesday from tournament organiser Let's Play Live, Aiden 'delusioN' Hendry and Finlay 'Frenzyy' Rockach from Team Esper were banned after they were adjudged to have thrown a game in their match against rivals Team Fury in the Let's Play Live Rocket League Oceanic Championship.

They will also forfeit prize winnings from the match, and will be unable to compete in the wider Rocket League Championship Season 9, which boasts a $670,000 prize pool.

A third player from Team Esper, Steve 'SSteve' Berrospi, has been cleared of any wrongdoing from the match, with the investigation and community agreeing he was not involved in the throw.

Source: 8 April 2020,

Stuff eSports

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/esport/120917677/esports-two-players-banned-for-a-year-after-match-throwing-charge-proven

United Kingdom Patrick Keane suspended and fined for betting on tennis offences

British tennis player Patrick Keane has been suspended from professional tennis for six months and fined $5,000 for betting on tennis offences. Three months of the suspension and $4,500 of the fine are suspended on condition that he commits no further breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

On that basis, Mr Keane will serve a three month suspension, effective from 30 March 2020, and pay a fine of $500.

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Jane Mulcahy QC adjudicated the case and imposed the disciplinary sanction, noting in mitigation the player’s co-operation, his admission of the offences and that none of the bets involved matches in which he played.

When interviewed as part of a Tennis Integrity Unit investigation into the case, Mr Keane admitted to holding four betting accounts and to placing six bets on tennis matches between 18 August 2019 and 18 September 2019.

As a result, he is suspended from competing in, or attending any sanctioned event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport from Monday 30 March 2020 to Monday 29 June 2020.

All betting on tennis by players and other Covered Persons is strictly prohibited, as per Section D.1.a of the TACP, which states:

“No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, wager, conspire to wager or attempt to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition.”

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: 1 April 2020,

Tennis

Integrity Unit Tennis

https://elinkeu.clickdimensions.com/m/1/84431288/p1-b20092-8abc48bab4494d6c849bdc1e6508a11e/1/50/157aa952-e42d-43ad-9078-5366e2fe4f50

BETTING United States How coronavirus cripples the New York Mafia

The coronavirus has succeeded where lawmen like Bobby Kennedy and Rudy Giuliani failed for more than a century — by putting the freeze on the mob.

The wholesale cancellation of major sports in the face of the contagion has wiped out tens of millions of dollars in illegal gambling income, a “historic” blow to the Mafia, law enforcement sources told The Post.

“There’s never been a time when they weren’t making money through gambling,” said one insider. “Since the days of Lucky Luciano, when the Five Families started.

“This is historic.”

Thanks to the internet — which replaced the cramped social-distancing nightmares of yesteryear’s wire rooms — it looked as though illegal betting would emerge unscathed during the virus’ early days, sources said.

Then came the postponements and cancellations — the NBA, MLB, March Madness, the NHL, MLS, horse racing and pro golf, to name a few.

With virtually all American sports in an indefinite timeout until the disease burns out, a few dedicated gamblers have tried their hands at wagering on African cricket and Australian soccer matches, sources said, but the underground betting scene has largely gone dry.

“A lot of people are living off that money,” said one source, with the lost lucre estimated to be in the eight figures — and the worst of the disease yet to come.

Other mob mainstays have also been hard hit. The extortion of restaurants has fallen, with eateries ordered closed except for takeout and delivery, and construction rackets had been bringing in the bucks until Gov. Andrew Cuomo halted all non-essential projects on Friday, sources said.

“Construction’s a very big deal because it has a lot of branches,” one law enforcement source said, noting that goodfellas don’t just profit off jobs themselves but related ventures like trucking and the ports.

And with fewer businesses open and generating garbage, private carting companies, historically a popular mob enterprise, are also feeling the pinch, sources said.

Money-hungry made men may soon be forced to lean more on narcotics, which is still doing a brisk business even as much of the world grinds to a halt.

“There’s still deals being made,” one insider said, speaking generally of the drug trade and not the mob’s involvement.

Chatter captured recently on surveillance wires indeed portends a possible shift to drug peddling, according to sources.

“A lot of the time, the big topic of conversation would be talking about gambling. That’s dried up,” one source said, noting the focus has turned to narcotics.

But even that comes with its share of coronavirus-induced headaches. Much of the product once moved in mobbed-up restaurants, bars and strip clubs that are now shuttered by state order.

It’s a shutdown that anti-mob crusaders like US Attorney General Kennedy, then-federal prosecutor Giuliani and pioneering NYPD Lt. Joseph Petrosino — slain by Sicily’s Black Hand extortion racket in 1909 — tried for more than 100 years to achieve, one source said.

“This is doing what they couldn’t do,” one source said.

Source: 31 March 2020,

New York Post

https://nypost.com/2020/03/29/how-coronavirus-cripples-the-new-york-mafia/

GOOD PRACTICES GLMS GLMS 2020 Q1 Monitoring & Intelligence Report

GLMS reported 24 matches to its Partners in 2020

You are welcome to go through the GLMS 2020 Q1 Monitoring & Intelligence Report, in which you can find some key facts and figures about the results of the GLMS Monitoring and Intelligence work. We also invite you on this occasion to read: – A message from GLMS President, Ludovico Calvi, at the unprecedented time of the COVID-19. – An interview with Norbert Rubicsek, Director – CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity.

Source: 9 April 2020,

GLMS

https://mcusercontent.com/d3dd17a9afdcf674100aa8954/files/8bbece71-9455-4d3c-b9dcba127e8ecba6/20_GLMS_Q1_OPERATIONAL_ANNUAL_REPORT_final.01.pdf

IBIA IBIA reports 61 cases of suspicious betting in Q1 2020

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported 61 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. The total is 36% higher than the 45 cases in Q4 2019 and 65% higher than the 37 alerts reported in Q1 2019. IBIA members saw an increase in suspicious betting activity in the week before the widespread suspension of sport in mid-March.

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “The industry’s main focus is quite understandably on product availability and business viability in a particularly challenging period for the sector globally. That said, it is important to note that the vulnerability of sports and betting to corruption remains an ever-present danger to operator finances. IBIA saw an increase in suspicious betting activity in the week leading to the global sports shutdown highlighting the opportunism of corrupters.

“Whilst there has since been a relative lull, we fully expect the business threat to rise as sport is restored and betting product catalogues return to a level of normality. Indeed, it is clear that corrupters are still operating and seeking to exploit the current situation. IBIA will continue to utilise its unique global monitoring platform to protect its members and sports from fraud during this difficult time; product integrity and consumer trust will be key to the sector’s recovery.”

Other key data for Q1 2020: •44 – percentage of Q1 alerts on sporting events played in Europe (30% in Asia, 11% in Africa, 10% in South America and 5% in North America) •31 - number of alerts reported on tennis (18 cases for football, 5 for basketball, 4 for table tennis and one each in volleyball, cricket and boxing) •15 – number of alerts reported in the week before the widespread suspension of sport •11 – Russia ranking the highest country for alerts reported •7 – alerts reported since the widespread suspension of sport in mid-March

The International Betting Integrity Association is the leading global voice on integrity for the licensed betting industry. It is run by operators for operators, protecting its members from corruption through collective action. Its monitoring and alert platform is a highly effective anti-corruption tool that detects and reports suspicious activity on its members’ betting markets. The association has longstanding information sharing partnerships with leading sports and gambling regulators to utilise its data and prosecute corruption. It represents the sector at high-level policy discussion forums such as the IOC, UN, Council of Europe and European Commission.

The association publishes quarterly reports covering the integrity alerts reported through its monitoring and alert platform which can be viewed here. IBIA can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloakb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addyb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f = 'info' + '@'; addyb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f = addyb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f + 'ibia' + '.' + 'bet'; var addy_textb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f = 'info' + '@' + 'ibia' + '.' + 'bet';document.getElementById('cloakb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f').innerHTML += ''+addy_textb8984a0dd5400958e7bf218795796f9f+'<\/a>'; .

Source: 2 April 2020,

IBIA

https://ibia.bet/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-Q1-IBIA-1.pdf

Sweden Svenska Spel rolls out match-fixing education programme across football clubs 

Swedish state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel has strengthened its commitment to tackling match-fixing by rolling out a new digital education initiative across 2,328 football clubs.

The aim of the initiative is to offer both athletes and football associations a greater understanding of the risks associated with match-fixing.

The scheme, which includes information on spotting signs of problem gambling, has been rolled out to the clubs affiliated with Svenska Spel’s sponsorship project Gräsroten.

“Athletes, who often live close to the game, are a clear risk group for suffering from gambling problems,” said Patrik Hofbauer, CEO of Svenska Spel.

“Research shows that athletes, who often live near the game, are a clear risk group for suffering from gambling problems. Therefore, in our cooperation agreements with the Swedish Sports Federation, we have investments in just gaming responsibility. This is such an important investment.”

Johan Claesson, integrity officer at the Swedish Football Association, added: “Match-fixing is one of the biggest threats to football, and unfortunately we have recently seen signs that criminal forces have wanted to influence the outcome of matches at a very low level.

“This is something that we are very distant from, and that our main sponsor Svenska Spel is now taking the initiative to quickly train thousands of football players in the lower divisions in the subject of match-fixing, we think is very good. With more knowledge, it is easier to say no.”

During 2020, debate in Sweden has continued in relation to Football restrictions and legal definitions attached to classifying amateur and junior level events.

The leadership of Swedish betting and sports have asked national gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen to clarify ‘grey areas’ attached to football wagering, as part of further Swedish gambling reforms intended this year.

Kajsa Nylander, sustainability manager at Svenska Spel, emphasised that it is of growing importance for Sweden’s football associations to gain a thorough understanding of the topics.

Nylander concluded: “Recently presented this year’s Sustainable Brand Index, Europe’s largest independent brand study focusing on sustainability.

It clearly shows that the gaming industry has a decent uphill when it comes to the confidence of the Swedish people.

Source: 9 April 2020,

SBC News

https://www.sbcnews.co.uk/sportsbook/2020/04/09/svenska-spel-rolls-out-match-fixing-education-programme-across-football-clubs/

ODDS AND ENDS Australia "Me ofrecieron 100.000 dólares por perder en primera ronda del Open de Australia 2009"

Sergiy Stakhovsky, ex número 31 del ránking, eleva las acusaciones de amaños hasta la categoría de los Grand Slams. Stakhovsky, durante un partido ante Melzer, en Wimbledon 2013. REUTERS

"En el Open de Australia de 2009 me ofrecieron 100.000 dólares por perder ante Arnaud Clement en primera ronda". La revelación de Sergiy Stakhovsky sacudió a este lunes a un tenis paralizado por la pandemia. Y es que el ucraniano, verdugo de Roger Federer en Wimbledon 2013, eleva a la categoría de los Grand Slams una lacra que hasta ahora sólo parecía salpicar a los torneos Challengers y Futures.

"La oferta me la hicieron llegar dos personas que se hacían llamar inversores", reveló el ex número 31 del ránking ATP, en declaraciones a una radio ucraniana. Aquel 20 de enero de 2009, tras casi tres horas y media de tenis, Clement remontó (6-3, 2- 6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1) para apuntarse el triunfo.

Más de una década después, Stakhovsky aún guarda un amargo recuerdo de aquel funesto episodio. "Si me hubiese encontrado con esa gente cuando salí de la pista les habría golpeado con la raqueta", rememora el ucraniano, que nunca suele refugiarse en las medias tintas ante los micrófonos. "¿Podéis proteger a mi familia?"

Según su testimonio, nada más acabar aquel partido en Melbourne Park curso una reclamación en la Unidad de Integridad del Tenis (TIU), donde le pidieron que identificase a los implicados. "Entonces les tuve que parar los pies y les dije: '¿Estáis listos para proteger a mi familia?'. Porque puede que aquellos dos personajes sólo fueran peones, pero quienes estuvieran por encima serían más peligrosos". Según Stakhovsky, la respuesta de la TIU fue que "no podían garantizarme nada".

Por aquel entonces, Stakhovsky reunía las condiciones idóneas para ser atrapado por las redes de amaños. Con 23 años recién cumplidos, sólo había disputado un partido de Grand Slam (derrota ante David Ferrer en Wimbledon 2008) y podía verste ntado por esos 100.000 dólares, una cantidad tres veces superior al premio por alcanzar la segunda ronda (31.000 dólares).

Source: 14 April 2020,

El Mundo Tennis

https://www.elmundo.es/deportes/tenis/2020/04/13/5e9495ba21efa0bf098b4627.html

United States Nevada approves CS:GO esports bets for the first time in landmark decision

In a landmark decision, the state of Nevada has approved sports betting operators to take on esports bets for CS:GO. William Hill, the first Las Vegas sportsbook to adopt esports betting, released the odds for its first two eligible esports matches earlier Thursday.

Both matches take place in the ESL Proleague, which is broadcast on streaming websites YouTube and Twitch.

In the opening match, 100 Thieves (-500) opened as heavy favorites against amateur side Swole Patrol (+375). 100 Thieves, primarily made of top players from Australia, are currently ranked No. 9 in the HLTV world rankings.

Following that game, North America's top team, Team Liquid (-335), faces off with Made in Brazil (+275). Team Liquid sits at No. 6 in the HLTV world rankings as MIBR currently stand as No. 25.

This move to allow more esports betting comes following a majority of the traditional sports leagues in North America suspending play due to the global coronavirus outbreak. Along with the lack of sports betting, all MGM casinos were closed last week in an attempt to lessen the number of large public gatherings.

While new to the United States, esports betting in Europe has become a staple, with numerous gaming titles available to be wagered on from various tournaments around the world. Previously, New Jersey did test esports betting in its market, with the 2019 League of Legends World Championship final being the only esports event it took action on.

Source: 1 April 2020,

ESPN eSports

https://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/28958472/nevada-approves-csgo-esports-bets-first-landmark-decision

MATCH FIXING Malta MGA Notice on COVID-19 and Sports Integrity

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disruptive impact on sports worldwide, and by correlation, the betting sector is facing unprecedented challenges. The Malta Gaming Authority understands that it is far from being business as usual for operators in this sector and is thus increasing industry outreach as means to set regulatory expectations in these turbulent times.

Most sporting events have now come to a complete halt, and so have the betting markets. This will naturally spur interest in betting operators to look elsewhere, including betting on events with different risk profiles to those traditionally offered. This includes betting on sporting events which are not run to the same professional degree as the more traditional sporting events on which betting is normally offered, including but not limited to amateur or minor league sports.

Esports is one such betting market which may see a significant boost during these times. Even traditional sports and their respective governing bodies have resorted to esports, with some already hosting simulated versions of their events digitally. Just like other sports, esports has varying levels of professional, semi-professional and amateur tournaments, and whilst many esports events are organised in a highly professional manner, others may not. And in a new sector such as esports, this distinction may not be easy to make.

In order to safeguard the integrity of such events, and warn betting operators of the risks involved, the Malta Gaming Authority is therefore recommending the following:

Operators should consider that all esports events are now being run online, and therefore lacking the standard integrity checks done at events. Operators should ensure that matches are not pre-recorded, and risk teams should be aware that esports matches are not always broadcast in real time, and there is often a pre-set delay between the actual match, and the public broadcast. Operators should make sure that customers understand the distinction between esports, and virtual sports, whereby the outcome of the latter is determined by a random number generator. Operators should look into whether tournaments benefit from integrity controls, and whether participants are professional, or otherwise, when deciding on which betting markets to offer. Operators should seek information about the participants/officials involved in the esports events from communicative tournament organisers or from publicly available information. Operators should maintain their betting integrity and fraud checks including making sure that participants/officials involved in esports events are not placing bets. Tournament organisers, broadcasters and sports governing bodies (SGBs) should revise any policies regarding misuse of inside information so as to include also any participants or officials involved in their esports events. Any suspicious betting activity should be reported to the gambling regulator. Any other suspicious activity (not betting related) pertinent to an esports event should be reported to the corresponding SGB, and/or event organiser.

Source: 9 April 2020,

Malta Gaming Authority

eSports

https://www.mga.org.mt/mga-notice-on-covid-19-and-sports-integrity/

Sweden Exposed to betting, lowly Swedish team gets death threats

An amateur soccer team in Sweden was subjected to vicious online abuse, including death threats, after one of its practice games received unusually large exposure on betting sites amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With sports around the world in lockdown, soccer is only being played in a few places. In Belarus, the country’s top division continues as normal, while in Sweden only practice games between lower-league teams are still allowed to go ahead.

Skabersjo IF, a seventh-division team located near Malmo in southern Sweden, played Vastra Ingelstad IS on Monday. Skabersjo chairman Mattias Andersson said people — presumably from the betting community — from places like Hungary, Denmark, England and in Asia contacted his club on social media and email asking for information about such things as the team’s style of play.

“After the game,” Andersson told The Associated Press, “we received a lot of threats, death threats, where they said they wanted us all to be killed by COVID-19. It’s insane.”

Andersson said the players initially thought it was “a cool thing” that their practice games were coming under so much focus but then they became “very shocked.”

“We are all amateurs. Usually you cannot (bet) on our games,” he said. “It’s intimidating

“I remember when I started marketing at university, I was told all publicity is good publicity. But in this case, I actually doubt that theory. The last days I have seen the dark side of the betting community, what it does to people.”

While top-level competitions and training matches have been canceled in Sweden during the pandemic, those at a lower level are continuing because gatherings of fewer than 50 people are still allowed in the country and there are limited restrictions on social mobility.

Andersson said there were no fans and just “a handful” of reporters at the match on Monday.

The Swedish soccer association has told clubs still playing during the pandemic to ignore messages from potential gamblers asking for team information.

Andersson said he hasn’t reported the matter to the police and will discuss it at the next board meeting.

Skabersjo plans to play its games in Division 5 — the next-to-last tier of Swedish soccer — as scheduled this season, with the team typically getting about 70 spectators for its games.

Betting sites have been starved of live sports during the pandemic, so some have resorted to headlining their platforms with the Belarusian league and play in Nicaragua.

The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has praised the betting market, saying it means fans abroad learn more about Belarusian teams.

Belarus has the only top-level soccer league still playing in Europe, despite criticism from international players’ union FIFPro.

Swedish teams Eskilstuna FC and Nashulta GoIF, from the seventh and eighth divisions, respectively, had a training match on Monday canceled on the recommendation of the Swedish soccer federation after staff members at the clubs were contacted by would-be gamblers.

Sixth-division club AC Primavera said it has also received threats and abuse after losses in training matches in recent weeks.

“Among other things, we were accused of having ‘fixed’ our own match,” Primavera chairman Daniel Karlsson told local media, “and someone hoped we would all die from the coronavirus.”

Two Swedish training games — Kungsangens IF vs. IFK Lidingo, and Sollentuna vs. Foc Farsta — are slated for Thursday on some betting sites.

Source: 1 April 2020,

AP

https://apnews.com/7b1f50916ca86b46c40150368519f111

Tennis Integrity Unit Tennis Integrity Unit Briefing Note: January – March 2020

Increase in first quarter match alerts linked to suspension of tennis

Between January and 22 March 2020 the TIU received a total of 38 match alerts through its Memorandums of Understanding with the regulated betting industry. This compares to 21 alerts for the same period in 2019, a year in which the fewest alerts were recorded since data was first published in 2015.

The increase of reported matches in the first quarter of 2020 is an indication that the entry levels of professional tennis were deliberately targeted by corruptors, as the sport moved towards suspension due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In anticipation of heightened integrity concerns when tennis resumes, the TIU, in conjunction with the governing bodies of tennis, is developing an education and awareness campaign to inform and support players, officials and tournament staff. Further details will be announced in due course.

Match Alerts: January to 22 March 2020 ATP Challenger 6 ITF WTT Men 16 ITF WTT Women 16 Total 38

TIU match alert policy

Every alert reported to the TIU is recorded, assessed and followed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have happened. It is important to appreciate that an alert on its own is not evidence of match-fixing; there are many reasons other than corrupt activity that can explain unusual betting patterns, such as incorrect odds-setting; well-informed betting; player fitness, fatigue and form; playing conditions and personal circumstances; where analysis of a match alert does suggest corrupt activity, the TIU will conduct a full, confidential investigation.

New CEO joins the TIU

Jonny Gray became the first Chief Executive Officer of the TIU when he joined the organisation in mid-February. A former Colonel in the British Army and senior partner with Control Risks, he will be responsible for implementing the integrity recommendations of the Independent Review Panel, which include the establishment of a new, independent integrity organisation with a separate legal personality.

TIU Education update; Australian Open, WTT $15,000 pilot, online education during suspension of tennis

January’s Australian Open saw more than 650 officials, main draw and junior players receive integrity briefings and one-to-one sessions ahead of and during the tournament. Bespoke education sessions were also delivered to ATP coaches and the ATP’s international group tournament directors’ workshop. In February, a pilot Education outreach project took place at the ITF World Tennis Tour combined $15,000 event in Heraklion, Crete. This new initiative included presentations and an integrity pledge campaign for players, coaches, officials and tournament staff. More than 100 players received face-to-face education, alongside all tournament officials.

Colombia became the second nation to complete the TIU’s integrity criteria as part of the ITF Recognition of National Training Centres Programme. Six further nations are being supported as they work towards certification.

During the suspension of tennis the TIU team has continued to deliver its comprehensive education programme, including online 1-2-1 sessions for WTA Rookie players and Grand Slam Development Fund grant recipients.

Disciplinary code rules strengthened for Provisional Suspensions

Amendments have been introduced to the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP), to strengthen the rules relating to the Provisional Suspension of individuals suspected of serious corruption offences. With effect from 1 April 2020, a Covered Person charged with a criminal offence or the subject of criminal proceedings, can be immediately suspended by an independent AntiCorruption Hearing Officer (AHO). The individual subject to the provisional suspension retains the right to appeal that decision to the AHO.

A further amendment clarifies that a decision to impose, or not impose, a Provisional Suspension cannot be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The final change allows a Covered Person subject to a Provisional Suspension to appeal for that suspension to be lifted after a period of 90 days, rather than the previous term of 120 days.

Disciplinary decisions – January to March 2020

Between January and March three players – Jonathan Kanar, Joao Olavo Soares de Souza and Patrick Keane - were subject to disciplinary sanctions for breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. In addition, an appeal decision was received for Argentinian player Nicolas Kicker:

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/jonathan-kanar-suspended-and-fined-after-admitting-corruptionoffences https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/lifetime-ban-and-200000-fine-joao-olavo-soares-de-souza-afterconviction-match-fixing-charges https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/independent-anti-corruption-hearing-officer-reduces-nicolas-kickersuspension-recognition-player-education-support https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/patrick-keane-suspended-and-fined-betting-tennis-offences These sanctions have previously been announced and are included here as a retrospective record.

Source: 8 April 2020, Tennis Integrity Unit https://elinkeu.clickdimensions.com/m/1/84431288/p1-b20099-c92724d0296147c4b3f18c9088aaed7a/1/50/5a19db32-2e2b-4505-8564-0ae8151c8941

UEFA UEFA issues match fixing warning as fixers adapt to Covid-19 restrictions

April 6 – UEFA has issued an intelligence alert to its federations warning that match-fixers are quickly adapting to Covid-19 restrictions, despite the bulk of leagues and games across Europe having been shut down.

In the alert UEFA warns that fixers are targeting lower-tier games and youth games that could provide data for the betting markets, as well as warning of a “heightened risk” of ‘ghost matches’.

Despite the Covid-19 shutdown of play, it has “done little to temper bettor interest in European football. With bettors – and match-fixers – worldwide left with limited betting options, we assess that the few matches still being held will be at greater risk of targeting by match-fixers.

“These matches may involve youth leagues or lower-tier clubs, whose players have yet to benefit from match-fixing prevention training, or club friendlies, which may be subject to less scrutiny or press attention. We similarly judge there to be a heightened risk of so-called “ghost matches” in which fixers create matches – inventing line-ups, stats, and match outcome – for offer on betting markets but no player or referee ever enters the pitch.”

UEFA said it had received a report from its integrity officer in Ukraine regarding likely ghost-matches there, as well as similar concerns in Russia.

See: Ukraine ‘ghost’ games fool bookies and punters as criminals pull off perfect crime

UEFA also cited cases in Sweden – which had been permitting matches under guidelines allowing gatherings of up to 50 people – where there was an unprecedented interest in a friendly match scheduled for March 30 between a seventh-tier and eighth-tier club. The match was cancelled after players “were subject to a barrage of social media messages from individuals seeking inside information or wishing players good or ill luck”.

UEFA gives a 9-point checklist to its federation integrity officers:

Review local COVID-19 restrictions as they pertain to football. Are there any provisions that would allow match-play under certain circumstances, such as without spectators? Are club friendlies currently allowed? Do clubs systematically inform the FA prior to scheduling and playing club friendlies? Do you currently monitor social media, local press, or betting operator sites for ghost matches? (The AMFU has been in contact with IBIA, certain betting operators, and other integrity partners regarding the suspected ghost matches; monitoring efforts across the broader integrity community have redoubled on this issue.) Do you employ a domain monitoring service to detect registration of typo or lookalike domains for malicious purposes? Are your clubs aware of the risk of ghost matches? Have you sent awareness messages to clubs highlighting risks related to COVID-19 or conducted additional at-distance prevention training? Have you considered what changes to the current situation would impact your risk assessment and begun monitoring for same (tripwires)?

Source: 6 April 2020,

Inside World

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/04/06/uefa-issues-match-fixing-warning-fixers-adapt-covid-19-restrictions/

Ukraine Ukraine ‘ghost’ games fool bookies and punters as criminals pull off perfect crime

The coronavirus lockdown has not stopped football-related betting fraud with the re-emergence last weekend of so-called ‘ghost’ games in Ukraine.

Ghost games are matches that never took place but are faked with data that is sold on to bookmakers who offer betting markets to their punters. Estimates put the volume of bets that were placed on these ‘games’ as potentially as high as £100,000. It is likely that bookmakers paid out winning bets to match-fixers before they realised the fraud.

The four matches offered last weekend by bookmakers worldwide were from a friendly tournament supposedly featuring four lower league Ukrainian clubs. The tournament PR seems to have first appeared on a Facebook page for FC Berdyansk on March 21 promoting a round-robin event called the ‘Azov Cup’.

The matches were offered to bookmakers as a data feed by Bet Genius who had presumably been informed of them by their local scouts – people who collect the live match data for the bookmakers’ fast feeds that are used make, open and close the betting markets.

Those scouts would have then supplied the match data, as though real and live, that bookmakers would have used to make their markets.

The fake matches that were completed and rolled into betting markets were, on March 25, FC Berdanysk vs FC Lozovatka and Tavria vs Melitopol Cherry. On March Berdanysk vs Tavria and Lozovatka vs Melitopol Cherry were also completed before the tournament was discovered to be fake.

BetFred, BWin and 188bet, along with a number of other online bookmakers, all offered markets to their punters.

The schedule was for the fake tournament to hold another round of matches on March 27 and a final and third placed play-off on March 28, but having been discovered as a fraud the scam was halted and on March 29 the Facebook site was deleted.

In a statement March 27 the Ukraine FA said the matches had not taken place and had been created by match-fixers to defraud the betting markets.

“In the last days, the Ukrainian Association of Football established a series of ghost matches, involving Ukrainian amateur teams (Lozovatka, Melitopolska Chereshnia, Berdiansk, Tavriia-Skif Rozdol), that were also fixed for betting purposes,” said the statement.

“We informed the clubs and regional associations of this situation and all confirmed that due to the state quarantine the teams do not participate in any sports activities and did not play the aforementioned matches.

“In this view, we kindly inform you that any matches that will appear on bookmakers within the next month are ghost and created by illegal activities of the scouts who are also involved in match-fixing process. We kindly ask you to refrain from offering any matches of Ukrainian football teams during the upcoming month which may be considered as participation in organization of match-fixing.”

Bet Genius, that supplied the bookmakers with the fake data via its scouts, issued an apology to its bookmaker customers. There is some dispute over whether some form of match actually did take place as Bet Genius say they did collect data from a game. While the clubs all deny a game taking place if data was collected, who was actually playing in the match is something of an unknown, except to the match-fixers.

The identities of the match-fixers is understood to be almost certainly Belorussian and Turkish.

The big issue for the betting and football business – which currently no-one seems to want to address – is where the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting the crime lies. Law enforcers reportedly have no appetite to investigate, bookmakers look prepared to take the hit,while football authorities appear to be taking that position that because no game physically took place it isn’t their problem.

For criminal gangs, match-fixing remains an almost perfect and investigation-free crime to commit.

Source: 31 March 2020,

Inside World Football

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/03/31/ukraine-ghost-games-fool-bookies-punters-data-firm-criminals-pull-off-perfect-crime/

POLICY FIBA Basketball: McLaren to head up international basketball integrity unit

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, who wrote a report into state-sponsored doping in Russia for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), was appointed Integrity Officer for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Wednesday.

“I am delighted to be working with FIBA. I congratulate FIBA’s leadership for their commitment to ensuring the integrity of the sport,” McLaren said in a statement.

“I am confident that this new partnership will help FIBA navigate through any ethical challenge that may arise to ensure that spectators, players and coaches continue to have the utmost trust in the game,” he added.

McLaren, whose 2016 report for WADA outlined evidence of massive state-backed, systematic doping in Russian athletics, is also currently leading an investigation into allegations of corruption within the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

Source: 2 April 2020,

Reutres Basketball

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-basketball-ethics-mclaren/basketball-mclaren-to-head-up-international-basketball-integrity-unit-idUSKBN21J70M

CORRUPTION Switzerland Ex-FIFA President Sepp Blatter has World Cup corruption case dropped

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter had a corruption charge related to the sale of World Cup broadcasting rights to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) dropped on Saturday, reports Reuters' John Revill.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in Switzerland has informed all of the parties of its intention to close the case, according to Revill.

"We confirm the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland considers the criminal investigation into the partial facts and allegations concerning the contractual relationship with the CFU to be complete and ready for conclusion," the Swiss OAG said in a statement.

The Swiss prosecutors said they "intend to discontinue the proceedings." The OAG did not provide a reason for their decision. Blatter, 84, led FIFA until 2015 and is currently serving a six-year ban from any football-related activities over ethics violations. He was accused of selling the television rights to the CFU for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for $600,000, which was an amount seen as far below the market value at the time.

The recently dropped case was one of two criminal cases Blatter is facing. In the second criminal case, Blatter is accused of having arranged a payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.06 million) to the then Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Michel Platini in February 2011. The Swiss OAG said their investigation into this case is not affected by their decision to close the first case.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for Blatter said he had not heard anything officially but had no reason to doubt the media reports.

Source: 11 April 2020,

Ex-FIFA President Sepp Blatter has World Cup corruption case dropped Football

https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/ex-fifa-president-sepp-blatter-has-world-cup-corruption-case-dropped/

Switzerland Top Swiss Court Upholds Prosecutor's Removal From Soccer Corruption Probe

Switzerland's top court rejected Attorney General Michael Lauber's bid to rejoin investigations of corruption in soccer, refusing to overturn a lower court's ruling that his closed-door meetings with FIFA's head had raised the appearance of bias.

In a verdict released on Thursday, the Federal Court upheld the Federal Criminal Court's order in June that Lauber recuse himself from the federal prosecutors' probe.

Lauber has denied wrongdoing and said "conspiracy theories" over his meetings with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and presumptions of dishonesty were harming prosecutorial integrity.

Lauber had been investigating several cases of suspected corruption involving FIFA, based in Zurich, dating back to 2014 and the presidency of Sepp Blatter. The probe treats FIFA as a victim rather than as a suspect.

Lauber had acknowledged two meetings with Infantino in 2016, saying they were intended to help coordinate the investigation. He later acknowledged a third meeting in 2017 after media reports of the encounter emerged.

Lauber had his pay cut for a year after a watchdog found last month he repeatedly told falsehoods and broke a prosecutors' code of conduct in handling the probe.

A fraud trial of three former senior German soccer officials and one Swiss over a suspect payment linked to the 2006 World Cup hosted by Germany has already started, but looks on the verge of collapse amid a coronavirus-mandated trial halt as a statute of limitation looms.

Separately, the organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have strongly denied allegations from the U.S. Department of Justice that bribes were paid to secure votes for the hosting rights to the tournament.

Suspicion and rumours have long surrounded both the 2010 vote by FIFA's executive to hand the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Source: 9 April 2020,

NY Times Football

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/09/sports/soccer/09reuters-soccer-fifa-swiss.html

United States FIFAgate reopens with Fox and Imagina execs indicted for bribery and another $5m for Jack

April 7 – Football may be postponed indefinitely on the field but off it, the FIFAgate scandal has burst into new life with a fresh catalogue of explosive indictments and allegations relating to widespread bribery, notably over the awards of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

The latest file throws the book at some of FIFA’s most powerful former officials, not least the infamous Jack Warner, but just as significantly – if not more so – for the first time cites some of the game’s most prominent deal-making sports marketing officials who, if found guilty, could spent up to 20 years in jail.

Two former senior executives at Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox corporation have been indicted for their alleged role involving kickbacks in exchange for broadcast and marketing rights.

Hernan Lopez was former chief executive of Fox International Channels and Carlos Martinez former president of Fox Latin America. Fox held the rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and both men have been charged with paying bribes to win lucrative U.S. broadcasting rights, and of wire fraud and money laundering offenses and trying to acquire “confidential bidding information”.

Both are also accused of involvement in the payment of bribes to Conmebol to secure broadcast rights to the Copa Libertadores, South America’s biggest club competition. The alleged conduct occurred before Walt Disney Co acquired most of 21st Century Fox Inc in 2019.

Eyebrows will be particularly raised at the alleged actions of Gerard Romy, former co-chief executive of Spanish media congolomerate Imagina based in Barcelona, since they involve the biggest fish of all, one-time aspirant to the FIFA presidency Jeffrey Webb.

According to the latest indictment, Romy took part in a scheme to bribe officials of the Caribbean Football Union and Central American Football Union to secure rights to World Cup qualifying matches.

In connection with the CFU scheme, the indictment sheet states, Romy and his co-conspirators agreed to pay Webb, then president of CONCACAF, a $3 million bribe in exchange for a share of a contract awarding the media and marketing rights to CFU members’ home World Cup 2018 and 2022 qualifiers.

Webb is, of course, the highest profile name in the entire FIFAgate scandal, having talked consistently about reforming FIFA when he came to power but now in disgrace after being banned for life and still awaiting sentence in the United States.

The new names on the charge sheet may not be globally recognised but wielded huge influence in their fields. “It’s shocking that the government would bring such a thin case,” said Matthew Umhofer, a lawyer for Lopez while Steven McCool, a lawyer for Martinez, said the charges against his client were “nothing more than stale fiction.”

But the prosecution side took a different stance.

“The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades,” William F. Sweeney, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said in a statement.

“Over a period of many years, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the governance and business of international soccer with bribes and kickbacks, and engaged in criminal fraudulent schemes that caused significant harm to the sport of soccer.

“Their schemes included the use of shell companies, sham consulting contracts and other concealment methods to disguise the bribes and kickback payments and make them appear legitimate.”

United States Attorney Richard Donoghue added: “The charges unsealed today reflect this Office’s ongoing commitment to rooting out corruption at the highest levels of international soccer and at the businesses engaged in promoting and broadcasting the sport.”

“Companies and individuals alike should understand that, regardless of their wealth or power, they will be brought to justice if they use the U.S. financial system to further corrupt ends.”

World Cups that just kept giving

The latest bombshell includes specific allegations that Warner, FIFA’s longest-serving vice president until being exposed as an alleged fraudster, and other former FIFA bigwigs took bribes in connection with choosing Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively.

The US justice department alleges Warner, Concacaf president at the time of the ballot in 2010, “was promised and received” $5 million through 10 different shell companies that included entities in Anguilla, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, to vote for Russia. The indictment alleges that then Guatemala federation president Rafael Salguero was promised a $1 million bribe to also vote for Russia.

The prosecution file states that the three South American FIFA members at the time – Brazil’s Ricardo Teixeira, the late Nicolás Leoz from Paraguay and an unnamed co-conspirator believed to be the late Julio Grondona from Argentina – took bribes to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 tournament.

Leoz died last year under house arrest in his native Paraguay, having fought extradition to the US. Teixeira has been banned for life by FIFA as has Warner. Both have so far avoided extradition.

More than 40 people and entities have been charged as part of the FIFAgate scandal that dramatically began with that May 2015 hotel dawn raid in Zurich on the eve of FIFA’s annual Congress. Prosecutors have since secured at least 23 guilty pleas

Crucially, the newly released documentation does not specify who was behind the alleged bribery involving Warner and the other one-time FIFA dignitories.

Qatar and Russia have repeatedly denied paying bribes and six years ago were both cleared of any wrongdoing by FIFA after an 18-month probe.

But while they may not be directly involved, the latest revelations will doubtless rekindle a wave of suspicion about both selected hosts and put the spotlight back on the first ever winter World Cup in 2022 for all the wrong reasons.

Source: 7 April 2020,

Inside World

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/04/07/fifagate-reopens-fox-imagina-execs-indicted-bribery-another-5m-jack/

United States US judge grants early release to Brazilian in FIFA corruption scandal

New York (AFP) - A federal judge in New York on Monday granted the release from prison on humanitarian grounds of an 87- year-old former senior Brazilian football official tarnished by the FIFA corruption scandal.

Judge Pamela Chen authorized the release of Jose Maria Marin, a former Brazilian Football Confederation president, who was serving a four-year prison sentence for accepting millions of dollars in bribes as part of the global FIFA corruption scandal.

Marin was scheduled for release in early December 2020, according the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.

But following a request from the Brazilian's lawyers Chen granted a "compassionate release," for reasons "including his advanced age, significantly deteriorating health, elevated risk of dire health consequences due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, status as a non-violent offender, and service of 80% of his original sentence," a court document seen by AFP read.

Marin was the first major football official found guilty and sent to prison in the United States as part of the "FIFA gate" scandal of kickbacks and bribes that smeared the reputation of the global sports organization.

He was being held in FCI Allenwood, a minimum security facility in the state of Pennsylvania.

In August of 2018, a New York jury found Marin guilty of accepting $6.6 million in bribes -- along with his deputy, Marco Polo del Nero -- in exchange for contracts to broadcast major tournaments.

Upon hearing his sentence Marin, who had already served 13 months behind bars, broke down in the courtroom and burst out crying.

"I could die in prison!" he wailed. "My wife and my family -- don't take away their means of survival!"

Source: 31 March 2020,

Yahoo Sports

https://sports.yahoo.com/us-judge-grants-early-release-brazilian-fifa-corruption-015906923--sow.html

 

 

 

 

COVID-19: 10 legal considerations of extending the football season in England

Thu, 2020-04-02 09:29
COVID-19: 10 legal considerations of extending the football season in England

The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused significant turmoil to sport globally and football in particular has a multitude of issues to work out in a landscape which is changing on almost a daily basis.

Following the recent emergency meeting with The FA, Premier League, EFL and officials from all Premier League clubs, it was decided[1] that the 2019/2020 season in England will be postponed until 30 April at the earliest.  But, with the postponement of UEFA 2020 and all other UEFA competitions until further notice and The FA agreeing to extend the season indefinitely, the hope is that the season can be completed by 30 June 2020. Urgent discussions between all stakeholders are continuing with a focus on the resumption of the 2019/20 season and several other important matters.

The postponement of the season has already resulted in a number of legal headaches for governing bodies, leagues and clubs but, if it proves not possible to complete the season by 30 June 2020, a myriad of additional legal issues will arise. This article delves into these potential legal issues focussing predominantly on contractual complications between clubs and players. Specifically, it looks at:

  • The transfer window
  • Player contracts
  • Pre-contracts
  • Extension options
  • Players and coaches on sportsperson visas
  • Transfer options
  • Loan agreements
  • Contingent payments
  • Financial fair play
  • Disputes
AuthorJohn Shea