August 20 – UEFA has welcomed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to reject an appeal filed by the Maltese player Samir Arab against a two year-suspension issued by the UEFA Appeals Body in April for matchfixing.
Arab was one of four Maltese under-21 players banned originally in December for various lengths of time. The investigation related to two UEFA European Under-21 Championship matches played by Malta against Montenegro on 23 March 2016 and the Czech Republic six days later.
The players were initially cleared in domestic courts which ruled they had been the victims of peer and social pressure which, coupled with their immaturity, robbed them of free judgment and forced them to act under “an extraneous force which they could not resist”. Yet this was subsequently quashed.
Arab’s first appeal – to UEFA’s appeals body – was rejected in April and now CAS has followed suit.
In a statement UEFA re-iterated “its commitment to ridding football of the scourge of match-fixing, and its zero-tolerance approach in this respect.”
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