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German Reffing Scandal


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The German soccer world has been dominated in the last few days with accusations that a referee in the second Bundesliga, Robert Hoyzer, manipulated results in order to benefit on betting on the game results. He has finally admitted that the allegations are true although it is still not clear if he was betting himself or being paid by a criminal organization to fix results. He has stated that there are others involved although as yet not whether it is other referrees or league officials. The worst instance was a German Cup game in which 3rd division Paderborn defeated HSV 4-2 (Paderborn was awarded two penalty kicks and HSV also had a man sent off). This has led to the ridiculous spectacle of former HSV coach Toppmoller threatening to sue the ref and league because he claims he lost his job because of this although he was fired two months later, HSV sucked during the whole year he was there and have played far better under their new coach. There is talk that the Cup game will be replayed and that some of the 2nd BL games may also be replayed (one of which Nsaliwa played in, a 3-1 Saarbruecken victory over Unterhaching in late November). Not a great advertisement for German soccer one year before the World Cup.

I have to say that I have never been overly impressed by German reffing at any of the levels I have seen although I am not claiming the other refs are corrupt like Hoyzer. Possibly there are problems in how the refs are nominated and monitored in Germany. They are now going to reform some of the rules for referee selection including not naming a referee until two days before a game. They have also changed the ref for a 1st Bundesliga game this weekend after the originally schedule ref was widely criticized for his performance last weekend. I actually find the reffing better in the Russian Premiership than the Bundesliga although the standard and fairness is far lower in the Russian first division (where Jazic will be playing this year) which is neither monitored by UEFA nor nationally broadcast. The worst reffing I have ever seen is in Turkey where it is normal to see refs change their calls based on who argues and threatens them the most and then again reverse the decision if the other team outdoes the first in this regard. There are also many obvious examples of favouritism and corrupt reffing in Turkey. The level of soccer is quite good in the Turkish league but it is like 1st division players with 7th division refs.

German ref admits fixing matches

Robert Hoyzer will co-operate fully with the investigation

German referee Robert Hoyzer has admitted match-fixing charges and has promised to co-operate fully with an ongoing investigation.

"The accusations that have been raised in public are true," he said. "I regret my behaviour profoundly and apologise."

The German Football Federation had said he was under suspicion of rigging a Hamburg SV cup match last year.

The DFB investigation has now been widened to include five more matches Hoyzer was involved in.

He had initially denied the charges, but said on Thursday: "I have documented completely and unsparingly my behaviour and my entire substantial knowledge of all facts and people known to me in this matter.

"I am available to prosecutors and the DFB to provide a full explanation."

Earlier in the week, Hoyzer's lawyer strongly criticised the DFB's handling of the case and said his client had been pressured into signing a resignation letter.

The match at the centre of the allegations involved Hamburg SV against lower-league Paderborn where Hoyzer sent off one Hamburg player and awarded Paderborn two penalties.

Hamburg were leading 2-0 but went on to lost 4-2. Manager Klaus Topmoeller was later sacked.

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This reffing scandal seems to be getting worse by the day. Several refs are now under suspicion as well as players from Hertha, Paderborn and Dynamo Dresden. A couple of players have admitted involvement although several are denying accusations. The game manipulations are tied to a betting ring run by the Croatian mafia.

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From the Toronto Star:

Canadian not `bothered' by match-fixing scandal

Minor issue for Stalteri's mates

But probe has now netted 25 people



Paul Stalteri agrees the daily headlines are intriguing but says he and his Werder Bremen teammates aren't "real bothered" by the widening match-fixing scandal now pounding German soccer.

"We talk about it but it's not too big an issue among the players," the 27-year-old Brampton native with Bremen said last night.

"The people running the show — the suits, basically — I think they're the ones most upset, most embarrassed. They've got the World Cup coming in (16 months from now) and they want this all cleared up as quickly as possible.

"Of course," he added, "you never know what might come out down the road."

Maybe plenty.

A couple of hours after Stalteri had spoken with the Star, for instance, the German Football Association (DFB) confirmed the scandal had spread to include its first Bundesliga elite division match among as many as 10 games now under suspicion.

A total of 25 people, including four referees — most prominently, Robert Hoyzer, who named the other three refs and has admitted to successfully fixing four games — and 14 players are being investigated by Berlin prosecutors.

The investigation also covers several individuals linked to three brothers identified by the initial `S', whom media reports have identified as Croatian gamblers, as well as a former referee.

"We are talking about organized crime here," Bundesliga head Werner Hackmann said at a news conference in Berlin yesterday.

When the DFB began looking into match and betting irregularities a little over two weeks ago, it was looking at six games — five in the lower divisions and one first-round German Cup match in which third-division Paderborn rallied from a two-goal deficit to upset top division Hamburg SV 4-2.

Hoyzer, who gave his statement to prosecutors last Friday, was the referee in that one, giving Paderborn two dubious penalties and sending off one Hamburg player.

In light of Hoyzer's statement, Paderborn's captain was suspended Monday after admitting he'd received a "special bonus" from a man he didn't know.

"I don't think guys in the first division would be stupid enough to do that," said Stalteri, now in his eighth season with Werder Bremen, last season's Bundesliga champs.

"One, you're always paid a lot more in the first division, but it also would just seem to be a lot easier to go about something like that in the second or third division, where there's less attention, less media. The thing is, the odds (on betting slips) are the same."

But now, there's a first division game under suspicion, too — Kaiserslautern's 3-0 win over SC Freiburg last November. That one was refereed by Juergen Jansen, who denies any involvement after being named by Hoyzer.

Stalteri, a defender who has earned 49 caps for Canada, said he could not recall any suspect officiating in any games he'd played and, now, felt especially sorry for the officials.

"They're always having their competence questioned in any case, but now, every questionable call is going to get examined," he said.

"They'll be under even more pressure.

"From my standpoint, if it's players throwing a game ... well, that has nothing to do with the sport any more and neither should they."

The German federation also said it was working closely with a company called Betradar.com to establish an early-warning system into suspicious betting patterns.

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This is certainly an embarrasement for the German Soccer Federation, but also for F.I.F.A. Stalteri is right that with the W.C. coming up next year in Germany, the referee situation is going to have a bad taste specially after the first screw-up in officiating.

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The game Nsaliwa played in that was reffed by Hoyzer was a failed manipulation attempt according to the ref himself. There were several games that he successfully manipulated but also two games where the intended team did not win as probably he couldn't affect the outcome without making things too obvious. This means the Saarbruecken victory will probably not be replayed since the ref was favouring Unterhaching who lost anyway. Too bad the Star didn't interview Nsaliwa as he would probably have more interesting things to say than Stalteri considering he actually played in one of the games.

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thats right theres fixing in sports.every sport all over the world.

ITS happened for the last 200 years and all u naive bstrds sound ridiculous every time you open your mouths with "no way man theres no conspiracy"

Grow up, your right there is no conspiracy its called reality the world is mostly corrupt and most people in power are corrupt thats how they got there.

Our society rewards lies and thats the result and all u silly naive people are the bulding blocks.

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