French scandals show need for coordination, experts sayOn 01/31/2019 by admin
On Tuesday, the presidents of Ligue 1 Caen and Ligue 2 Nimes plus Ligue 2 Dijon’s coach Olivier Dall’Oglio were in custody for alleged match-fixing in second division games last season.
In a separate affair, Olympique de Marseille president Vincent Labrune and his director general Philippe Perez as well a former president, Jean-Claude Dassier, were arrested and held for questioning as part of a probe into player transfers.
Both sets of arrests were part of wider investigations outside of sport.
“Such investigations should be carried out by law enforcement agencies, not sports organisations,” the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As a result, these cases echo the urgent need to establish an international platform that is able to act as a focal point to coordinate law enforcement, sport and gaming regulators and to better understand the global and political threat to sport.”
As a result Caen, Nimes or Dijon could be expelled from Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 respectively should match-fixing allegations be proven, according to the French League.
Caen chairman Jean-Francois Fortin was among nine people arrested on Tuesday morning on suspicion of fixing the result of a game between his team and Nimes last season, allowing the southern club to stay in Ligue 2.
Nimes president Jean-Marc Conrad has also been arrested.
On Wednesday, French weekly Le Canard Enchaine published the transcripts of wire taps that suggest Ligue 2 games were fixed.
The French online betting authority (ARJEL) said the 1-1 draw between Caen and Nimes — one of several matches under scrutiny — did not raise any suspicion at the time.
ARJEL, however, made no comment on Dijon’s 5-1 thrashing of Nimes when the southerners needed points to avoid relegation.
Caen director general Xavier Gravelaine said his club was beyond reproach, urging investigators to focus on Nimes.
“What drives me crazy is that our club is soiled by a case it has nothing to do with,” the former France international told daily L’Equipe. “The problem is not football, it is Nimes.”
The match-fixing scandal has come to light as a result of an investigation into a gaming circle led by Serge Kasparian, one of Nimes’s main shareholders.
“Further investigation will need to be conducted into whether gambling rings are associated, the geographical locations involved, as well as the illicit flow of money for fraud and money laundering involved in these allegations,” the ICSS concluded.
“Such investigations should be carried out by law enforcement agencies, not sports organisations.”
In 1994, Olympique de Marseille were relegated to the second division over a match-fixing scandal dating back to the 1992-93 season, with OM also losing their 1993 French title.
(Editing by XXXX)