German football match-rigging trial kicks off

18th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2005, BERLIN - Former referee Robert Hoyzer was charged with involvement in 11 cases of corruption as a trial on match-fixing in German football for a betting ring got underway on Tuesday. Hoyzer, another former referee Dominik Marks, ex-player Steffen Karl and Croatian brothers Filip, Milan und Ante Sapina are charged with organised and professional fraud.

18 October 2005

BERLIN - Former referee Robert Hoyzer was charged with involvement in 11 cases of corruption as a trial on match-fixing in German football for a betting ring got underway on Tuesday. Hoyzer, another former referee Dominik Marks, ex-player Steffen Karl and Croatian brothers Filip, Milan und Ante Sapina are charged with organised and professional fraud.

If found guilty by the state court, they face up to 10 years of imprisonment. The trial is to run until December 29.

Hoyzer has admitted to have manipulated lower league and cup games in Germany to allow the Croatians high bets on the game. He said he received EUR 70,000 for the fixing schemes.

The six are charged with having fixed or attempted to fix a total 23 games in Germany and Turkey. Ante Sapina allegedly made EUR 2 million from the fixed games.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Hoyzer rigged or attempted to fix 11 games. Ante Sapina is charged with 42 criminal offences as the suspected ring leader and is the only suspect still in custody.

The 289-page charge sheet read out Tuesday is mainly based on testimony from Hoyzer, who is reportedly ready to share all his knowledge with the judges.

Court officials insist that Hoyzer is a defendant and not a witness, but he may get away with a suspended sentence if he testifies again.

Hoyzer has been banned for life from refereeing in the what is the biggest scandal in German football since Bundesliga games were manipulated by players and clubs in the early 1970s.

The case which broke in January sent shockwaves through the German football community as it gets ready to host the 2006 World Cup.

The trial will still be on when the World Cup draw is made December 9 in Leipzig.

DPA

Subject: German news

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