Court Sends 4 to Pre-Trial Detention for Match-Fixing

Four persons were sent to pretrial detention and seven others were granted bail for participating in match-fixing in the minor and major leagues of Georgia. The charged are former and current footballers.

The detainees were arrested on May 20 and were officially charged on May 21.

Four of the detainees, including Vakhtabg Jakeli, Lasha Chapidze and Nika Daushvili and Irakli Khuchua, who is the footballer of FC Chiatura, have been sent to pre-trial detention, while Irakli Bajelidze, Robert Imerlishvili, Joni Sherozhia, Giorgi Bediashvili, Paata Ghudushauri, Nikoloz Maisuradze and Nodar Kiknavelidze have been granted GEL 10,000 bail.

The Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service of Georgia (SSS), as a result of operative-searching and investigative activities, detained 8 active and 3 former footballers on the fact of bribing of the participants of sport competition and fixing the football matches by the players of the second and highest league.

The investigation established that the members of the organized group criminally contacted the footballers of football clubs and in return of the certain amount of money arranged to lose with the rival team through the pre-agreed score with so-called “handicap”- for two or more goals.

The agency said that on April 3, 2019, the footballers of FC “Lanchkhuti’s Guria” bribed by the organized group, participating in the 2nd league of Georgian National Championship on the basis of preliminary agreement, lost with two goals difference the second half of the match between the football club “Tbilisi’s Merani” and “Lanchkhuti’s Guria”.

It also added that similarly, on May 19, 2019, the bribed footballers of FC “Wit Georgia” participating in Georgian National Championship highest league, on the basis of the preliminary agreement, lost with two goals difference with the FC “Batumi Dinamo.” 
“The members of the organized criminal group and the footballers received a sum of money in especially large quantities, in total GEL 93 500, as a result of previously fixed-scores,” SSG said. 
The investigation is underway on the fact of bribing of sports competition, Article 203, paragraph III and IV of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which envisage from 4 to 6 years of imprisonment.

The President of the Georgian Football Federation, Levan Kobiashvili, stressed that together with the Disciplinary Committee, he will make sure that the sportsmen who were detained for fixing the matches and face up to 6 years imprisonment never play football again.

Kobiashvili does not exclude that the football clubs where these sportsmen play will also be punished

FC WIT Georgia also released a statement regarding the case and apologized to the Georgian society. The football club strictly distanced itself from match-fixing and expresses wish to closely cooperate with the Football Federation and other bodies to eliminate such risks.

“With all our responsibility we apologize to Georgian football fans and the whole Georgian society, "the club's statement reads.

By Thea Morrison



23 May 2019 07:57