Soccer

UEFA seek life ban for fixing

2012-09-27 14:11
Kevin Sammut (File)

Zurich - UEFA sought a life ban for Malta player Kevin Sammut on Thursday by appealing its own ruling of a 10-year suspension for him helping to fix a European Championship qualifying match in a betting scam.

Sammut denies involvement with Europe's most notorious match-fixing gang in June 2007, and has also appealed to UEFA to overturn his ban.

The 31-year-old player was found guilty by UEFA's disciplinary panel guilty last month of helping to corrupt Malta's 4-0 loss in Norway in a Euro 2008 qualifier.

"We confirm that the UEFA disciplinary inspector and the player Kevin Sammut have lodged an appeal against the first decision," UEFA said in a statement.

An appeal hearing date has yet to be set. Both parties could later launch further appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

UEFA President Michel Platini alerted world football in 2009 of the renewed threat posed by fixers, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called for officials and players caught corrupting matches to be expelled from the sport.

UEFA has not specified how it believes Sammut helped fix the match in Oslo.

The plot was detailed during a criminal trial last year in Bochum, Germany, by Marijo Cvrtak, a leading member of a Croatian gang headed by convicted match-fixer Ante Sapina.

Cvrtak claimed that he met three Malta players in their Oslo hotel who would arrange the fix.

In the match, Sammut was substituted at halftime when Malta trailed 1-0. Norway scored three late goals, boosting payouts on potential wagers placed on how many goals would be scored and the margin of Malta's defeat.

Sammut's teammates Kenneth Scicluna and Stephen Wellman, who both played the full 90 minutes, were also charged by UEFA.

UEFA cleared them last month because the evidence was "insufficient to take any disciplinary action."

In the Bochum court, Sapina and Cvrtak were said to have made millions in betting profits by bribing referees, players and officials to help manipulate matches and results.

Cvrtak was found guilty on 26 counts of fraud and attempted fraud and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in jail. Sapina, who was previously jailed in a 2005 German refereeing scandal, got the same sentence.

Sammut has been supported by the worldwide players' union, FIFPro.

FIFPro has questioned whether UEFA was "sufficiently equipped for such a trial" and suggested that Sammut could have been pressured by an organized crime syndicate.

"A footballer does not often take the initiative for match-fixing. Indeed, it has frequently been clear that the player was the victim," the union said last month. "It frequently emerges that more people, both within football and outside it, are involved in match-fixing. A case such as this is an enormous threat to the welfare of a player."

Read more on:    uefa  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.