ZURICH: World football federation FIFA has confirmed the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed on 13 players by the Estonian federation and two players by the Slovak Football Association relating to match manipulation.
The Estonian FA has been cooperating with national judicial authorities after the State Prosecutor Office opened fraud investigations in 2011 and has subsequently opened its own proceedings against several players.
As the Estonian FA continues to gather evidence and information, its Disciplinary Committee has decided to ban from all football-related activities ten players (eight of whom had been sanctioned previously) until March 1, 2015 and two other players until December 31, 2014.
In these 12 cases, the Disciplinary Committee is expected to render final decisions by the end of the year once all the necessary elements have been analysed, according to the Estonian FA. Additionally, one player, Yaroslav Dmitriev, has been sanctioned with a lifetime ban from all football-related activities.
The Disciplinary Committee of the Slovak FA has decided to sanction two players, Ivan Hodúr and Róbert Rák, with 11-year and 15-year suspensions respectively in connection with the manipulation of several friendly club matches in 2011.
Ivan Hodúr had already been sanctioned with a 14-year suspension on December 17, 2013, in connection with another case of match manipulation and therefore the total duration of the suspension imposed on him by the Slovak FA equates to 25 years.
Earlier this year in January and February, FIFA confirmed the extension of sanctions imposed on six Slovak players, including Ivan Hodúr, who were involved in match manipulation of several matches in the Slovak Corgoň Liga (top division) in the 2013-2014 season, with suspensions ranging in length from 14 to 25 years.
Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, has decided to extend all of the above-mentioned sanctions to have worldwide effect in accordance with article 78 paragraph 1(c) and article 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. The decisions by the chairman were duly notified to the respective member associations on September yesterday.
FIFA’s work to tackle match manipulation includes a 10-year collaboration with Interpol, regional workshops all over the world as well as e-learning programmes to educate players, coaches and referees on the dangers of match manipulation to help them to avoid becoming victims of this threat to football integrity.
Other initiatives include the signing of an integrity declaration by officials, the monitoring of the betting market via FIFA’s subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS) and the setting up of an e-learning ethics tool, an integrity hotline and email address and a confidential reporting system.