News 28 January 2016

France establishes national platform to fight manipulation of sport

The French Ministry of youth and sports and France’s gambling regulator, ARJEL, have signed an agreement creating a central platform to fight the manipulation of sports competitions. The agreement was signed this morning by Thierry Braillard, Secretary of State for Sports and Charles Coppolani, President of ARJEL.

The platform will be managed by the Ministry of youth and sports, and will pull together all the various bodies (public and regulatory authorities, sporting bodies, athletes and betting operators) to provide a coordinated fight against match-fixing in France. The body will collect information from all of the bodies mentioned above, including information from betting operators relating to suspicious betting patterns, as well as information on any possible violations of laws, rules and regulations.

In July last year, 16 suspects were found guilty of fixing a top-tier handball match between Montpellier and Cesson in May 2012. Among those convicted were the national team’s captain, Nikola Karabatic and his younger brother, Luka. Karabatic led France to a record fifth world title in February 2015. Handball is a relatively big sport in France – attendance averages 3,500 per game.

In March, a report prepared by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) found that Ligue 2 clubs Stade Malherbe Caen and Nîmes Olympique colluded to arrange a 1-1 draw in their 13 May match. The 50-page report found that former Nîmes President Jean-Marc 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. It also alleges that four boxes of wine worth €45 were purchased by Nîmes and given to SM Caen after the match.

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