April 17 – Former Nigerian international Dickson Etuhu (pictured), who played for a raft English teams including Manchester City, has been banned from football in Sweden, where he last competed, for five years for attempted match-fixing.
The Court of Appeal in Stockholm said it was clear that Etuhu and an another player, Alban Jusifi, tried to influence AIK keeper Kyriakos ‘Kenny’ Stamatopoulos to fix a match in May 2017 against Goteborg.
Etuhu, who had been awaiting sentence since being found guilty last November, was registered with AIK at the time of the offence. He moved to IFK Rössjöholm in August 2017, shortly after the bribery attempt.
Etuhu, who also played for Sunderland, Preston, Blackburn and Fulham, represented Nigeria 20 times including twice at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2008 and 2010 as well as the World Cup in South Africa.
Although he escaped a jail sentence and at 37 his career is coming to an end, his legal team are reportedly planning to take his case to Sweden’s supreme court. He had initially been acquitted by a lower court in 2018 which decided there was not enough evidence of a concrete monetary offer being made to Stamatopoulos.
Stamatopoulos, AIK’s back-up goalkeeper at the time, was reportedly offered around SEK2 million (£160,000) to under-perform during the match against Goteborg but the former Canada keeper reported the approach and as a result the match was postponed shortly before kick-off.
The Swedish Football Association said in a statement it had banned Etuhu and Jusufi for “deliberately trying to persuade an Allsvenskan player to under-perform in one of their team’s matches”.
“The Disciplinary Board has decided to suspend two people because they have deliberately tried to persuade a football player to underperform in one of the team’s matches.
“Through their actions, these people have violated the anti-match fixing regulations, and they are therefore suspended for five years. The ban includes training, competing or performing any assignments in any sports.”
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