Wednesday, 20 May 2015

In Italy And England Matchfixing Is Orchestrated By Mafia

Italian football is besmirched by mafia, matchfixing, money laundering and linkage to transglobal crime syndicates and bookmakers...
... and so is English football.

The difference is that, in Italy, the authorities attempt to do something about these frauds, while the criminals in England laugh all the way to their offshore tax havens.

History of Recent Matchfixing in Italy

* Yesterday more than 50 people were arrested and 70 more placed under investigation over a widespread matchfixing scandal throughout Italy in Operation 'Dirty Soccer'.
Anti-mafia prosecutors in Catanzaro say more than 30 clubs in Lega Pro, Lega Pro 2 and Serie D (Italian third and fourth divisions) are involved.
Charges include criminal association aimed at sports fraud worth millions of euros, with some linked to mafia organisations – one in particular to the ’Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate.
One police officer was also involved, authorities said.

A full listing of matchfixing events is provided by Gazzetta dello Sport (1) and highlights of one fixed match between Brindisi and San Severo are also provided by the same paper (2).

* Earlier this season, there had been a whole array of matchfixing events involving AC Parma which we exposed in February (3). The club have been matchfixed and asset-stripped to virtual oblivion by rogue owners linked to Balkan, Russian and Cypriot betting operations.

* Back in 2012, then-Lecce chief prosecutor Cataldo Motta claimed that up to seven clubs in the Eccellenza (fifth Tier) Puglia were controlled by members of the Sacra Corona Unita (4).

* Since 2011, over 100 people have been arrested by Italian prosecutors in Bari, Napoli and Cremona over the separate Ultima Scommessa matchfixing scandal regarding matchfixing in Serie A and Serie B games with players being drugged as part of matchfixing operations.
Those arrested include players, bookmakers, management, owners, agents and other former players.

* In February 2011, 39 people were arrested after La Nuovo Quarto Calcio was found to have been owned by Camorra mafia leader Giuseppe Polverino

* In 2010, Rosarno were also taken over by the regional courts who wrested control from the Pesce family.

* In 2009, the southern Italian Parisi gang used an English betting firm (Paradisebet) as a front to launder money. 74 people were arrested and businesses, land and racehorses were seized (5).

* In 2006 Italian football suffered  the Calciopoli scandal in which police found six teams to have rigged matches by selecting favourable referees. Juventus were stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B, while Fiorentina, Milan, Lazio and Reggina were sanctioned.
33 Serie A matches were declared as matchfixing events from seasons 2004/05 and 2005/06 and 13 referees were banned or suspended during season 2006/07 (6) (7).
Prosecutors in Parma are still investigating Juventus goalkeepers Gigi Buffon and Antonio Chimenti, defender Mark Iuliano and Palermo player Enzo Maresca.

Later developments in April 2007 saw La Repubblica expose 9 referees linked to club owners via SIM cards purchased in Slovenia and Switzerland and release 200 audio files of the wiretappings (8).

At the time of Calciopoli, our analyses showed that AC Milan were, if anything, more guilty of matchfixing yet, after initially being barred fro 2006/07 Champions League, they were reinstated and won the tournament.
In 2011, inquiries by FIGC chief investigator, Stefano Palazzi, showed Inter, AC Milan and Livorno should have been relegated but, due to statute of limitations (Berlusconi's Law), the proceedings could not be reopened.

Calciopoli first came to light when GEA World, a football agents under control of  Alessandro Moggi, was investigated by prosecutors and transcripts of recorded phone conversations appeared in Italian mainstream media. Juventus general managers Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo had conversations with several officials of Italian football to influence referee appointments.

This is exactly the same matchfixing structure involving John Colquhoun, Jonathan Moss and Keren Barratt in England that we exposed in MOBGATE (9).

* Even at amateur levels in Italy, mafiosi are in operation. In 1995 over 800 children between the ages of six and 14 played in a tournament named in honour of Fortunato Maurizio Audino, a convicted drug dealer and suspected of being a mafia capo. Indeed, in Naples, rival mafia clans are said to compete in a yearly football tournament, with the winners collecting drugs instead of a trophy.
A police informer by the name of Armando De Rosa has said that these matches have been happening since 2002 in the city’s notorious Scampia suburb. Clan bosses have even reportedly brought in semi-professional players to help their team get one over their rivals. De Rosa has further claimed that men with international arrest warrants often turn up to watch.


The Situation in England

The parallels with systemic corruptions in English football exposed on the Football is Fixed blog over the last 9 years are remarkably similar: referees owned by clubs, mafia and clubs influencing referee selection, conflicts of interest relating to club ownership and betting market companies, agents coercing players and match officials, criminalised players morphing into match commentators/summarisers after career, no whistleblowing bodies and no institutional entities of even the remotest integrity, MOBGATE is based on the Calciopoli template.

Hundreds of matches in the Premier League and the Skybet Championship are affected by this systemic matchfixing (10). We have provided fulsome evidence including the holistics, the betting patterns, the linked betting accounts and the trail of proxies to mainstream media but, as England does not have a functioning 4th Estate, the MOBGATE English Matchfixing Crisis is given no media attention.
Indeed, the Guardian and Telegraph football output would appear to be under the sociopathic control of Mr Colquhoun.
The Lower Level English Matchfixing Crisis of 2013 featuring agent and former player Delroy Facey covered matchfixing in the lower leagues and was virtually ignored by mainstream media at the time (11) and, once the case arrived in court, only the Birmingham Mail provided any coverage (due to the similarity of the corruption template to matchfixing in the Premier League).
The Birmingham Mail were 'persuaded' to drop their real-time coverage of the Facey trial due to the input of a certain football agent.

Another area where England performs as poorly as the remainder of the continent is when it comes to the bodies investigating matchfixing. Europol, Interpol, Early Warning and Federbet have hidden agendas while the International Centre for Sport Security is one of those NGO-lite bodies that arranges conferences while ignoring realities.
And, in England, the FA have launched the Sport Betting Integrity Forum.
Current members include Ladbrokes, Bet365 (bookmaker and owner of Stoke City), William Hill, Coral, Betfair (12), the Association of British Bookmakers, the Remote Gambling Association, together with several other entities of dubious countenance.
In total, 50% of members of this forum are under control of the bookmaking industry.


Camorra expert, Corrado De Rosa, states: "Ownership of the local football team adds considerably to the mobsters' social status and influence... In addition to possessing a powerful means of money laundering, being owners of a football team means credibility and being respected." 

Leading anti-mafia writer and investigative journalist, Roberto Saviano, stated in the Guardian newspaper: "Their [the mafia's] worst fear is to be under the spotlight... They want to be famous in their own territory, feared for thei power, but on a national or international level they want to be anonymous." 

We might not term it the mafia but English football at the very highest levels is under the vice-like grip of matchfixing operations and their accomplices...
... as the duplicitous Guardian newspaper is well aware.

However a primary difference between Italy and England relates to the statute of limitations - criminals in Italy avoid prison sentences via the creation of lengthy legal delays while those in England only enjoy such rewards if state-backed (think Chilcot Report or #OperationDeathEater).
Hence, in England, it becomes a race against time for systemic fraudsters and matchfixers to launder their reputations before the shit hits the fans.

Honoré de Balzac: "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."

Football is Fixed.
English Football is Fixed Absolutely.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

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1) Calcioscommesse: Le Partite Sotto Esame Nell'Inchiesta Del Catanzaro

2) Brindisi-San Severo, Una Papera Troppo Strana...

3) Mafia, Matchfixing, Money Laundering - The Beautiful Game - Football is Fixed

4) The Mafia and Calcio - Kevin Nolan

5) £200 Parisi Mafia Gang 'Ran Betting Operation From London' - Duncan Gardham

6) Bribesville Revisited - Football is Fixed

7) Subvert, Divide And Rule, Bribe - Football is Fixed

8) Calciopoli's Wiretappings - La Repubblica

9) MOBGATE - Football is Fixed

10) Happy Anniversary To Roy Hodgson - Football is Fixed

11) Surfing The Zeitgeist Of Corruption - Football is Fixed

12) Bet (not So Feckin') Fair After All - Football is Fixed