News 16 October 2015

Canadian Soccer League fixed by European crime gangs

Up to 60 Canadian Soccer League (CSL) games this year were fixed by organised European crime gangs, according to the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS). ‘ICSS’s Sport Integrity investigators have been monitoring the league for some time’, read an ICSS statement. ‘According to information we have obtained through our network of sources, monitoring of matches and other intelligence gathering techniques including betting monitoring, in all likelihood the alleged corruption of the Canadian Soccer League has been led by organised crime groups based in Europe involving a complex network of individuals within the league and most likely Asian-based illegal sport betting operators.’

However the Canadian Soccer League cast doubt on the accuracy of the 31-page ICSS ‘Canadian Soccer League (CSL) 2015 Season’ report, which concluded that the CSL was organised ‘for the primary purpose of perpetrating an organised betting fraud, with match-fixing the means to achieve this’. “We are, of course, surprised and dismayed by the report and the story, given our resolve in recent years to remove a stigma we have suffered from since the Bochum case involving one CSL game played in Quebec in 2009”, CSL spokesman Stan Adamson told the Sports Integrity Initiative, referring to a Trois Rivieres vs. Toronto Croatia game identified as one of 47 allegedly rigged by Croatian Ante Sapina, who was jailed for five and a half years by a German court in May 2011. “What I can say is that there is information coming out of the UK which just isn’t fact. Some small, but other details are also significant. [The Daily Telegraph article] does not accurately reflect the CSL or Canada’s attitude to manipulation of sporting events of any kind that leads to fraud.”

The ICSS, which has been working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, defended its report. ‘We stand by the contents and accuracy of the report and will continue our work collecting and distributing intelligence with relevant authorities to protect the integrity of sport’, read its statement. ‘The information uncovered within the media, which was written for law-enforcement and sport investigators, is the result of investigations undertaken by the International Centre for Sport Security and its partners and points to what are very serious possibilities of corruption within the Canadian soccer league. Whilst it is regrettable that this intelligence report has been made public, this apparent conspiracy has grave ramifications for organised sport and sport betting well beyond the mere cumulative size of the frauds. As an independent, neutral and global body committed to safeguarding sport, the ICSS has been engaging for some time with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to share information, which involves serious allegations of wholesale match-fixing, betting fraud and quite possibly money laundering within the Canadian soccer league.’

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