German ref admits manipulating games

27th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 January 2005, HAMBURG - German football referee Robert Hoyzer on Thursday admitted to having manipulated games he officiated and offered to help prosecutors clear up the case that has rocked German football one year ahead of the World Cup in the country. "The core accusations made in public against me are correct. I regret my action and apologise to the DFB, my fellow-referees and all football fans," said Hoyzer in a statement issued by the office of his lawyer Stephan Holthoff-Pfoertner in Essen. Hoyze

27 January 2005

HAMBURG - German football referee Robert Hoyzer on Thursday admitted to having manipulated games he officiated and offered to help prosecutors clear up the case that has rocked German football one year ahead of the World Cup in the country.

"The core accusations made in public against me are correct. I regret my action and apologise to the DFB, my fellow-referees and all football fans," said Hoyzer in a statement issued by the office of his lawyer Stephan Holthoff-Pfoertner in Essen.

Hoyzer, 25, who had initially protested his innocence, said he had told his lawyers everything he knew on the issue and that he was ready to act as a witness for prosecutors and the DFB.

"It would be helpful if he does so," said Michael Gruenwald, spokesman for Berlin's state prosecutor's office.

A reporter for the N24 television network said that Hoyzer indicated he acted under pressure from a Croatian betting mafia in Berlin, to which he was linked over the past days by news reports.

N24 also said that Hoyzer indicated the involvement of other people in a scheme which would cause huge damage to German football and is already the biggest scandal since match-rigging in 1971 involving players and officials.

Hoyzer told another TV network, TV.BERLIN, that he received a five-digit sum for the manipulations.

Hoyzer is accused of having bet on and then manipulated at least five games in the German cup, second division and third division. The first division was not affected as Hoyzer has no licence for it.

The German football federation made the case public last Saturday after being tipped off by four referees and on Wednesday filed charges against Hoyzer with Berlin prosecutors.

"This is a slap in the face of German football. This is exactly the kind of case which should not have happened one year ahead of the World Cup," said Rudi Assauer, manager of Bundesliga top club Schalke 04.

Volker Roth, head of the DFB referee commission, named Hoyzer's action "inexcusable" at a news conference in Frankfurt.

Roth said the DFB knew of no other referees involved in the case but said that while there will be no general ban on betting for referees put in place, it will apply stricter measures to monitor referees in the future.

DFB spokesman Harald Stenger appealed to the fans at the weekend games "to keep their respect for the referees and not to insult them".

Hoyzer could also face compensation claims in a civil court from clubs who lost games due to his manipulations.

Nuremberg officials said that they will consider compensation if there is proof that their 3-2 cup defeat against second division Ahlen was the result of manipulation. One goal by Ahlen was highly disputed.

"We owe this to our fans, our sponsors and our club," said Nuremberg sports director Martin Bader.

SV Hamburg are also pondering compensation in connection with a cup defeat.

The DFB, meanwhile, must decide whether league games Hoyzer manipulated this season can be replayed. 

 DPA

Subject: German news 

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