Three FC Noah Jūrmala soccer players banned for match fixing

The Latvian Football Federation (LFF) said July 9 it was banning and fining three players from FC Noah Jūrmala in Latvia's top league for match fixing.

The trio - Serbian goalkeeper Bojan Knezevic, Ghanain defender Ofosu Appiah and Ukrainian forward Aleksey Babir, are banned from playing for a year and fined 1,000 euros each.

In June, the LFF Disciplinary Committee disqualified the Serbian footballer until a final decision was made by the LFF Fair Play and Ethics Committee regarding the possible involvement of FC Noah Jūrmala and its players in activities aimed at manipulating the result of the game. The case was initiated in connection with the Optibet Premier League Championship game of 29 May 2021 between FC Noah Jūrmala  and FK Liepāja.

"After obtaining, compiling and analyzing the information, the LFF Fair Games and Ethics Committee has acknowledged that the game was manipulated by the representatives of FC "Noah Jūrmala" in order to achieve a specific result of the game," the LFF said.

The State Police have also been approached with an application for a criminal offense for which liability is provided in accordance with Article 212.1-3 of the Criminal Law.

"There is no place for dishonest and fraudulent activities in Latvian football. We react actively and sharply to every signal or indication we receive. We are grateful to everyone who helps us to identify the perpetrators and point out any possible illegal activities. that is out of the law," said LFF President Vadims Ļašenko. 

"We are also looking forward to the prompt work of the State Police to bring the perpetrators to justice at the highest level," Ļašenko said.

It is not the first time Latvian clubs have been linked to match-fixing scandals. In 2019 Daugavpils club Dinaburg made headlines. Before that, investigative show De Facto reported on how obscure Latvian matches can become the subject of large international bets and have attracted the repeated attention of UEFA officials monitoring signs of betting rings and match fixing.

 

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