The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has found out that three Tunisian chair umpires participated in numerous match-fixing frauds. As a result, the Agency banned them from professional tennis for years to come.
The three umpires in question are Mohamed Ghassen Snene, Abderahim Gharsallah and Majd Affi. The ITIA found out that all of them fixed matches and manipulated the scoring of various games to achieve their desired results. The umpires surreptitiously input the wrong scores to their electronic scoring devices, thus influencing the outcome of matches with profitable bets.
Snene and Gharsallah Influenced a 2020 Event
The authority said that Snene, a green badge chair umpire, and Gharsallah, a white badge chair umpire, broke the rules four times. All those violations occurred during a tennis event in Tunisia in 2020. The fraud earned the two umpires a seven-year ban from professional tennis. To elaborate, this means that the two of them will not be able to participate in any event ITIA-related event.
According to the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, no covered person should influence the outcome of tennis matches or try to change the outcome of the overall event – something all three men did. In addition, the TACP prohibits covered people from influencing people’s sports bets.
The ITIA backdated the bans to the date of the frauds’ original provisional suspensions. Because of this, the two men’s bans will expire on November 5, 2027.
Affi Breached the Rules Numerous Times
Affi, on the other hand, fixed matches on a whopping 12 instances. According to the ITIA, he fixed numerous games between 2017 and 2020. As a result, Affi will be unable to participate in ITIA-sanctioned events for the next two decades.
Affi’s lengthier ban is also a result of an additional breach. The TACP states that it is prohibited to impede fraud investigation and destroy evidence. According to the ITIA, Affi was not cooperative with the investigation, which didn’t help him avoid penalties.
The silver lining for Affi is that the authority also backdated his ban to the date of his provisional suspension. Thanks to this, Affi’s official ban is effective from November 6, 2020, to November 5, 2040.
These are not the only bans the ITIA has handed out this year. In May, the Agency issued a lifetime ban to the Portuguese chair umpire Daniel Zeferino. Zeferino also tried to influence matches and fix games for monetary gain. He pleaded guilty to the charges.