Federbet report faces further questions

Federbet report faces further questions

Thursday, June 4, 2015
Lazio and Liga Portugal have criticised Federbet

ESSA has joined Italian football club Lazio and the Portuguese Liga in questioning the findings of a new report by fellow anti match-fixing organisation Federbet.

Federbet, a Brussels-based non-profit federation that “aims to represent the interests of all the operators and consumers in the gaming sector”, suggested Lazio could be barred from entering next season’s UEFA Champions League because of an investigation into match-fixing related to their game against Genoa in 2011.

Federbet general secretary Francesco Baranca, while presenting the organisation’s annual report to the European Parliament, also said that it had evidence of suspicious activities surrounding a number of games in Portugal

However, one of the games mentioned was last year’s exhibition game between Spanish side Ponferradina and Portuguese outfit Freamunde, in which operators were supplied with incorrect information about the game from digital media company Perform’s RunningBall unit.

ESSA has now told TotallyGaming.com that is not convinced by Federbet’s findings.

“Whilst Federbet states that it has ‘found fixed matches', it is difficult what to make of the matches listed as there is no real supporting evidence,” said Khalid Ali, ESSA Secretary General.

In presenting his report this week, Baranca said that Lazio face punishment should testimony from Hristiyan Ilievski, who has been accused of being involved in a betting syndicate trying to fix games in Italy, implicate the Rome club.

Baranca said: “Lazio risk exclusion from European competition. There has been talk of this for weeks, since Ilievski decided to return to Italy and speak to the magistrates in Cremona.”

In response, a Lazio spokesman said: “The personal opinions of Mr Baranca are purely subjective, without any support in law and constitute a purely personal manifestation of views without elements that can contradict past investigations.

“Comments like those from Mr Baranca are simply attempting to disturb the calm that the club, players and fans need.”

Liga Portugal cast further doubt on Federbet’s claims by suggesting that the organisation has chosen to besmirch its reputation after it was knocked back in attempts to become an integrity partner.

A Liga Portugal statement read: “It should be made clear that the problem of illegal betting is a too sensitive subject for the Portuguese league to ignore, hence we have been developing along with the Federation of Portuguese Football (FPF), contacts with the Department of the Judicial Police investigating this type of crime, in order not only to prevent this type of crime, but also to establish expeditious channels of complaint.

“Still FPF have received all the support in this area through a competing undertaking to Federbet which works with UEFA, but unlike Federbet, it does so in a reserved manner and without launching public suspicions that could cause irreparable damage to the image of clubs and the people who work in them, as now seen happen in relation to the complaint lodged by Federbet whose services have insistently tried to sell to the Portuguese league without success.”

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