BRINGING WORLD TO THE CLASSROOM

Football officials convicted of sports corruption in Slovakia

The court has fined and sentenced 13 convicts to three years.

Defendants during a public hearing in the corruption case of SFZ delegates and referees at the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok on November 27, 2019Defendants during a public hearing in the corruption case of SFZ delegates and referees at the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok on November 27, 2019 (Source: TASR)

A glossary of words is also published online.

A group of 13 football referees and delegates from the Central Slovak Football Federation have been found guilty of sports corruption.

Corruption occurred during several matches at lower league levels of the football pyramid in 2018, the TASR newswire reported on November 27.

The Specialised Criminal Court approved the October 4 plea bargain agreed on between the 13 football officials and a prosecutor from the Special Prosecutor’s Office at the end of November. Initially, they had all faced a jail sentence ranging from four to 10 years.

A ban, fine, and probation

“Corruption in football is a serious type of sports corruption due to the fact that football is one of the social phenomena in our country,” the prosecutor said after the court decided.

To uncover corruption involved in the football matches, 70 police officers partook in the “Delegate” operation last summer, in July 2018.

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) then arrested 20 people during a seminar for football referees held in Banská Bystrica.

Based on the reached agreement imposing lenient punishments, a judge put all the convicts on three years of probation with a two-year suspension. The court also banned the 13 delegates and referees from football to two to five years. In addition, the convicts were ordered to pay a €200-€300 fine.

The prosecutor added that it is fair to hope that “a substantial number of people pleading guilty to corruption will have a preventive character for other potential offenders”.

Six football matches

The convicts engaged in corrupt behaviour during six football matches in the third, fourth, and fifth football leagues in central Slovakia between April and June 2018. One-off and repeated €25-€100 bribes were accepted in the referees’ locker room.

Although the 13 have been convicted, other bribers in this corruption scandal are or will be prosecuted separately. Some were already sentenced.

The Spectator College is a programme designed to support the study and teaching of English in Slovakia, as well as to inspire interest in important public issues among young people.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Spectator College

Read more articles by the topic
This article is also related to other trending topics
Football

Top stories

News digest: Slovakia to spend three Advent weekends with testing. President wants it to be voluntary

Seven candidates for the general prosecutor post approved. Acting general prosecutor steps down.

Installation of Christmas tree in Trnava

Who was behind the sale of one of the biggest banks in Slovakia

The largest law firms were involved in several innovative projects, too.

UK nationals in Slovakia advised to take action as end of transition period nears

UK Nationals should check the British Embassy's "Living in Guide" for the most up-to-date information.

Illustrative stock photo

Three rounds of testing should take place before Christmas

The first round will be nationwide and should take place in two weeks.