Online Gambling Probe Leads to Arrests For Match Fixing

Published Friday, May 20, 2016 -
Online Gambling Probe Leads to Arrests For Match Fixing

The match fixing scandal to hit Portugal does not bode well for the efforts of officials all over the world to stem the tide of corruption in professional football. The operation named ‘Jogo Duplo’ by the Judicial Police in Portugal was conducted using wiretaps on communications by the perpetrators. The intent of the investigation was to ensnare those who would be involved in match fixing that is associated with online gambling.

Of those accused Leixões SC president Carlos Oliveira and the club’s Director of Sport Nuno Silva are included. The information provided by the wiretaps has led to the arrest of a number of Oliveirense players who are alleged to have accepted 3500 euro each if they lost their final Segunda Liga game at home to Leixões.

Minutes after the last match day ended, the police arrested 4 Oriental players, the others and a few unnamed former players that are also being investigated, plus one of the leaders of Porto's Ultra group. This is a disappointing upset for fans and gamblers but many say they could see the problem developing with a number of unusual matches in the last few seasons played in the 2nd League. Fifteen players and officials have been arrested thus far.

The incentive to cheat is big among the second division players who earn very little and are frequently not paid for months after the games are played.  Recently Joaquim Evangelista, president of the Professional Footballers Association commented on the situation, “given the weak position of Oliveirense, I was alerted to the non-payment of wages. We must strengthen the control mechanisms and take a more rigorous look at the registration of clubs.”

Portuguese professional football club Farense president, António Barão said, “the available data points to the practice of unlawful acts of extreme gravity and the clubs involved, as well as their agents, must be exemplarily punished”.


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