Hamrun Spartans are now faced with a potential penalty related to an old match-fixing case that could leave them out of the Champions League for the season.
Match-Fixing Coming to Haunt Hamrun Spartans
A bad decision in the past can easily catch up to you in the present, and that is precisely what is happening in the case of Maltese champions Hamrun Spartans, who are now slated to serve a penalty related to match-fixing, the Malta Independent reported.
On Wednesday, UEFA decided to deliberate in the case of the Spartans. The team may be evicted from the Champions League for a year because they were implicated in a match-fixing and incurred a penalty dating back to 2013. The team never served the penalty, the governing body said.
The penalty has to do with the 2012/13 season when two club committee members were implicated in match-fixing to which they owed up and were subsequently banned for life from the sport.
The case reflected poorly on the club as well but nothing immediately damaging followed. UEFA reviews licenses on an annual basis with clubs applying and looking to meet several factors from financial stability to reputation and not least, whether they have been involved in any type of match-fixing activities.
As is the case with the Spartans, they do not meet the last criteria, and a seemingly forgotten match-fixing infringement is now coming to haunt the club. That is bad, especially now when the organization is posting consistently strong results. The Spartans won the country’s title in 2020.
Responding to UEFA’s decision, the Spartans put together a quick statement emphasizing that the club is considering addressing the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the subject.
“The decision is obviously very disappointing for our Club because it impacts directly on our efforts to put Hamrun Spartans FC on the epitome of Maltese football,” a statement by the club read. To remedy the situation or have a shot at contesting a potential UEFA verdict, the club will have to act quickly and before the new Championship Draw begins.
Match-Fixing Evolves to Target Vulnerable Athletes
Match-fixing has long been the bane of sports and associations, as well as integrity and data companies have been pooling their efforts to eradicate the issue. Organized match-fixing has become the norm, with criminal organizations working carefully to avoid detection.
However, as the world becomes more interconnected on a sports level, fraudsters are having a harder time fixing games.
However, fixers have also begun targeting vulnerable athletes, which has elicited a stronger response from sports bodies who have begun working with players who have suffered due to participating in such schemes.
People like Moses Swaibu have become the face against match-fixing. The player has already served a prison sentence related to match-fixing. He’s an ambassador for boosting awareness among young athletes who criminal organizations may target.