Brazilian prosecutors opens series of betting related match-fixing cases in top tiers of club game

May 11 – Brazilian state prosecutors have charged 16 people, including seven professional players, with alleged match-fixing and illegal betting.

The scandal is rocking the Brazilian game with calls for the league to be suspended following an order made by Justice Minister Flavio Dino to the federal police to launch an investigation after the charges were published on Wednesday.

The allegations involve top-flight matches and professional players. The incidents reported are said to be co-ordinated by an organised crime gang who paid players to manipulate matches and then bet on the outcomes happening.

Alleged payments of up to 500,000 reais ($100,000) were offered to players from major clubs including Santos, Juventude, Cuiaba, Cruzeiro, Athletico Paranaense, Internacional and Fluminense, the prosecutor alleges.

Eduardo Bauermann, Gabriel Tota, Paulo Miranda, Igor Carius, Victor Ramos, Fernando Neto and Matheus Gomes are among the players charged.

Prosecutors from the Public Ministry of Goias said the alleged offenses took place in 13 matches in Series A and B of the Brazilian Championship, including eight played in 2022.

In a letter the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) demanded that government authorities order the police to investigate the cases. However, the governing body said the current league season will not be suspended.

“I’ve been working together with FIFA, as well as Brazilian clubs and Federations, with the aim of combating all types of crime, fraud or illicit action within football,” CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues said in a statement. “Those who commit crimes should not be part of Brazilian and world football.”

Sports betting in Brazil is still in its early stages of development. While legal since 2018, there has been an explosion in betting advertising and sponsorship across the Brazilian game. The Brazilian government is moving slowly towards increased regulation of the sector but the criminal gangs appear to be moving faster.

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