German court jails ex-referee for match-fixing

17th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 November 2005, BERLIN - Former German football referee Robert Hoyzer was on Thursday sentenced to two years and five months in jail by a Berlin court for his role in a match-fixing and betting scheme. The court did not follow the recommendation of the prosecution, which had called for a suspended sentence of two years because Hoyzer had helped clear up the case. The mastermind of the scheme, Ante Sapina, has to spend two years 11 months behind bars, as recommended by the prosecution. Sapina's brothers M

17 November 2005

BERLIN - Former German football referee Robert Hoyzer was on Thursday sentenced to two years and five months in jail by a Berlin court for his role in a match-fixing and betting scheme.

The court did not follow the recommendation of the prosecution, which had called for a suspended sentence of two years because Hoyzer had helped clear up the case.

The mastermind of the scheme, Ante Sapina, has to spend two years 11 months behind bars, as recommended by the prosecution.

Sapina's brothers Milan and Filip received suspended sentences of one year four months and one year, respectively, from judge Gerti Kramer.

Another ex-referee, Dominik Marks, was given a suspended sentence of one year and six months, a milder sanction than the two years of imprisonment demanded by the prosecution.

The five men were charged with professional and organised fraud in which Hoyzer and Marks manipulated games in the German second and third division and the German cup to allow Sapina to place high bets on games.

A total 23 games are believed to have been fixed in 2004, with the Sapina brothers earning more than 2 million euros from it.

The trial against another man involved, former player Steffen Karl, continues next week. Karl has so far protested his innocence.

The case broke in January and rocked German football one year before the nation hosts the 2006 World Cup. It was the biggest manipulation case in the nation's number 1 sport since a Bundesliga match-rigging scandal in the early 1970s.

Hoyzer admitted to have received 67,000 euros (78,000 dollars) to manipulate games and shared his knowledge with the prosecution.

Hoyzer said he was a victim of Sapina, but Kramer sent him to jail, saying he played a major role in the manipulations.

Sapina also confessed, but his lawyers said he not acted in a criminal way but rather because of a gambling addiction.

Sapina has been in jail since January. He will likely now be freed until he officially starts his prison term.

In addition, he and Hoyzer are expected to face compensation claims from betting agencies and the German football federation which dished out 2 million euros alone to SV Hamburg for losing a cup match due to Hoyzer's manipulations.

Lawyers for Hoyzer and Ante Sapina said they would appeal.

DPA

Subject: German news

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