Court upholds jail term for German referee

15th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 December 2006, Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - Former referee Robert Hoyzer must go to jail for his involvement in a football match-fixing affair, the German Supreme Court ruled on Friday. The Supreme Court upheld the original ruling by a Berlin District Court from November 2005, turning down the appeal from Hoyzer and others involved in the scheme and dismissing a federal prosecutor's call for all to be cleared. Hoyzer must now go to jail for two years and five months. Croatian ringleader Ante Sapina will be

15 December 2006

Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - Former referee Robert Hoyzer must go to jail for his involvement in a football match-fixing affair, the German Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

The Supreme Court upheld the original ruling by a Berlin District Court from November 2005, turning down the appeal from Hoyzer and others involved in the scheme and dismissing a federal prosecutor's call for all to be cleared.

Hoyzer must now go to jail for two years and five months.

Croatian ringleader Ante Sapina will be behind bars for two years 11 months. Sapina's brothers Milan and Filip, another ex-referee, Dominik Marks, and former player Steffen Karl received suspended prison sentences.

None of the offenders were present in Leipzig on Friday, with Hoyzer's lawyer Thomas Hermes only saying: "The verdict is tough for our client."

During last year's trial Hoyzer had admitted to having manipulated lower league and cup games in Germany to allow the Croats to place high bets on the game. He said he received 70,000 euros (85,000 dollars) from Sapina for helping to fix the games.

Friday's ruling was welcomed by the German Football Federation DFB and others involved in the game.

"I fully agree with this verdict and I believe that the whole of German football and society will do so as well," said DFB president Theo Zwanziger.

"The ruling makes it clear that manipulation in football is not a minor offence."

The DFB was very concerned about the future of football after federal prosecutor Hartmut Schneider, at an appeal hearing on November 28, called for Hoyzer and the others to be cleared.

Schneider named the Berlin court ruling "remarkably superficial" and said there were no legal grounds for convictions on criminal fraud charges.

But the judges on Friday disagreed, citing a horse-racing case from the late 1970s around bribed jockeys.

Presiding judge Clemens Basdorf said that not only the bookmakers suffered but German football in general as well.

"The trust of millions of football fans in football and the impartiality of referees was disappointed," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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