Organized Crime Syndicate Fixed Canadian Soccer League Match
CBC News reports that the Canadian Soccer League (CSL), which acts as a farm system to Canadian professional soccer teams, only recently discovered that the all-volunteer league was at the heart of a German court investigation into bribery.
As it happens, a soccer match held on September 12, 2009 between team Attak of Trois-Rivières and the Toronto Croatia had its outcome fixed by bribery. Members of team Croatia were said to have collected as much as $18,000 Cdn to “throw” the game.
Former Trois-Rivières player Reda Aggouram, who played in that game, told CBC News he had no idea that some players on the Toronto Croatia team were being paid to manipulate the game, but he does remember scoring an easy goal.
“I remember my goal, it was the free kick for us,” said Aggouram. “One of our players took the free kick, and then the goalie, he didn’t punch it away, he punched it in front of the net, and then I took the rebound.”
The bribery was conducted by an unnamed European crime syndicate which German court documents revealed was behind fixing other matches with the most significant being a championship league match and a qualifier to the 2010 World Cup. Several jail sentences have been handed out thus far in Germany with two going to former members of Team Croatia.
The crime syndicate used the bribes to benefit from their online betting and their reach has been reported to be global extending from North America, Asia Minor and Eastern Europe.
No one has been charged in Canada, the CBC said.