—- FIFA confirmed today the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed on 27 players concerning match manipulation-related proceedings conducted by the Estonian Football Association (EFA), the Latvian Football Federation (LFF), the Swedish Football Association (SVFF) and the Czech Republic Football Association (FACR).
The EFA Disciplinary Committee, which met on 5 December 2014, sanctioned 21 players with bans from taking part in any football-related activities.
The sanctions included: nine lifetime bans, two bans for six years (until 5 December 2020), six bans for four years (until 5 December 2018), two bans for two years (until 5 December 2016) and two bans for one year (until 5 December 2015).
Some of the players sanctioned by the EFA Disciplinary Committee in December 2014 had been previously sanctioned on a provisional basis.
Of the players sanctioned, 16 are Estonian nationals and the remaining five have “undefined citizenship” (which, according to the Estonian FA, is a term used to denote a post-Soviet form of statelessness).
The sanctions related to the manipulation of matches in the Estonian top league, the Meistriliiga, the Estonian Cup and Estonian U–21 national team matches. Four of the players appealed against the decisions taken by the EFA Disciplinary Committee and, on 12 January 2015, the EFA Appeals Committee rejected their appeals.
In Latvia, the LFF Disciplinary Committee decided on 24 October 2014 to sanction the Latvian players Jevgēnijs Kosmačovs and Aleksandrs Vlasovs as well as the officials Jevgēnijs Klopovs (Latvia) and Ivan Tabanov (Moldova) with provisional bans from taking part in any football-related activities, in the scope of a match manipulation-related investigation.
Although the players and one of the officials appealed against the decision, this was rejected on 21 November 2014 by the LFF Appeals Committee, which confirmed the relevant sanctions.
In Sweden, the SVFF Disciplinary Committee sanctioned the Serbian player Adnan Ajrovic on
7 November 2014 with a ban from taking part in any football-related activities for the period
12 September 2014 – 11 September 2016, in relation to the attempted manipulation of a match of the Swedish second-tier league, the Superettan.
The player appealed against the decision and, on 3 February 2015, the Swedish Supreme Sports Tribunal (“Riksidrottsnämnden”) rejected his appeal.
Finally, in the Czech Republic, the FACR Disciplinary Board decided on 6 March 2014 to sanction the Czech player David Placák with a ban from taking part in any football-related activities for a period of five years (until 6 February 2019), in relation to the manipulation of two matches in the Czech football league played in 2013.
The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend all of the above-mentioned sanctions to have worldwide effect on 23 March 2015, in accordance with article 78 paragraph 1(c) and article 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. The relevant member associations and UEFA have been duly notified today of the chairman’s decisions.
FIFA continues to work closely with member associations and INTERPOL to combat the issue of match manipulation. Initiatives include the monitoring of betting markets via its subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS) and the setting up of an e-learning ethics tool, integrity hotline, e-mail address and confidential reporting system.
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