UEFA has been informed about Wednesday's arrests of members of the Latvian club FC Daugava Daugavpils for alleged cases of match-fixing in a UEFA competition fixture.
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UEFA has been informed about Wednesday's arrests of members of the Latvian club FC Daugava Daugavpils for alleged cases of match-fixing.
After the collection of all evidence, UEFA will launch the appropriate disciplinary proceedings against the club, Daugava Daugavpils, and the club president, as well as the players concerned. The allegations relate to a UEFA Champions League second qualifying round match in the 2013/14 season.
"Major work has been undertaken which has been going on for quite a long time," said Andrejs Grišins, Head of the Main Criminal Police Office of the Latvian state police. "We detained eight members of an organised group, of which several represent FC Daugava Daugavpils. I am talking about two players and one person from the club staff.
"In this given case, we can talk about various manipulations in the course of the team's international and domestic league matches. Beyond that, it is about massive scale tax-evasion, money plundering and laundering. The investigation is ongoing. I express my gratitude to the Latvian FA and UEFA for their help and the quality of co-ordination in the course of this case."
Thanks to the UEFA Betting Fraud Detection System, which annually monitors over 32,000 matches in Europe, irregular betting patterns were reported around the Latvian club's game against the Swedish side IF Elfsborg on 17 July 2013. This prompted the launch of an investigation, conducted by UEFA in close cooperation with the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) and Latvian authorities, into the match in question; the first leg of the tie which Daugava Daugavpils lost 7-1 away from home, before also losing 4-0 at home in the second leg. The Latvian law enforcement authorities consequently started criminal investigations that led to Wednesday's arrests.
"Obviously, neither UEFA nor the LFF can stand aside," said LFF general secretary Jānis Mežeckis. "Serious questions about Daugava Daugavpils were raised after the UEFA Champions League matches against Elfsborg last season. Later, a thorough investigation brought other suspicious matches to the surface.
"The investigation continues; we are confident that truth is on our side, and we will continue to do our best with joint efforts, so that there will be no place for match-fixing and other 'dirty' actions in Latvian football. Of course, there is no euphoria. Such incidents do no good to football – unfortunately, they exist in many sports and our collective task is to find the ones who are guilty and to fight for football's integrity."
UEFA has adopted a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding match-fixing and corruption. Serious sanctions (including lifetime bans from football) are imposed in cases where players, officials or referees have been found guilty of breaching these provisions. The regulations also require that players, officials and other members of the football family immediately report if approached in connection with activities aimed at manipulating a game.
UEFA is very pleased with the excellent cooperation of the Latvian Football Federation and the Latvian law enforcement authorities during the entire investigation process, and wishes to convey its sincere thanks to all those involved in the swift handling of the case.