Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Prosecutors have asked a Paris court to sentence eight men to prison terms for match-fixing, reports AFP. The accused reportedly includes Jean-Marc Conrad and Serge Kasparian, former owners of Nîmes Olympique, which has recently been promoted to Ligue 1.
In March 2015, France’s football league (LFP) found that Stade Malherbe Caen and Nîmes Olympique colluded to arrange a 1-1 draw in their 13 May match during the 2013/14 Ligue 2 season. The report found that Conrad and SM Caen President Jean-Francois Fortin held telephone conversations during which it was discussed that a draw would be enough to secure SM Caen’s promotion to Ligue 1 and Nîmes’ survival in Ligue 2. The report also alleged that four boxes of wine worth €45 were purchased by Nîmes and given to SM Caen after the match.
The 50-page report was commissioned by the LFP in 2014, and was drawn up by François Jaspart, the Director of the LFP’s Disciplinary Commission and a former police chief. However, AFP reports that the court had ‘doubts’ as to whether the 1-1 draw was a successful match-fixing attempt. It is reported that magistrates said there was “no element to demonstrate that the attempts by Nîmes [to arrange a favourable result] were successful”.
It is understood that Conrad and Kasparian are accused of attempting to fix several matches at the end of the end of the 2013/14 season to avoid Nîmes’ relegation to the third tier, assisted by an intermediary. Six of seven matches studied by the court are suspected of being targeted.
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