The Skenderbeu case - A step forward to combat match-fixing?

The Skenderbeu case - A step forward to combat match-fixing?

CAS 2016/A/4650 Klubi Sportiv Skenderbeu v. UEFA

In the context of the two-stage procedure established by UEFA in respect to match-fixing, UEFA is entitled to take an administrative measure - non-admission to a competition for one season - followed by a subsequent disciplinary procedure. Nevertheless, despite the administrative measure not being of a purely sanctioning nature, a certain standard of proof must be met and corresponding evidence shall be presented by the sports federation. In case the competent body, on the basis of all the factual circumstances and information available, is comfortably satisfied of a direct or indirect involvement of the club in match-fixing activities, the club shall be declared ineligible to participate into the relevant continental competition.

 The evidence to be brought in that context shall be solid and aimed at demonstrating the involvement - direct or indirect - into match-fixing activities. Monitoring is proven to be crucial, as irregular betting patterns will raise the inference that match-fixing activities may have occurred. It is nevertheless essential for reports to draw conclusions not only based on analytical information and mere irregular betting movements but also on external evidence, such as on-field actions, players’ behaviour, witness statements, stakes in play, etc., in order to meet the required standard of proof. In this case, UEFA’s Betting Fraud Detection System (BFDS) Reports were deemed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to be sufficiently thorough to support the conclusion that the clubs had been involved in match-fixing activities.

Facts and procedure of the case[1]

Klubi Sportiv Skënderbeu (hereinafter referred to also as Skënderbeu, the Club or the Appellant) won the Albanian championship in the 2015/2016 season. As a consequence, the Club was qualified for the preliminary phase of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League.[2]

However, and before even the Club had sent its Admission Criteria Form to UEFA, investigations undertaken by the UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors had uncovered enough evidence against the Club to justify the opening of disciplinary proceedings in relation to the admission of the Club into the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League.[3] Thus, upon receipt of the Admission Criteria Form from the Club, the UEFA Secretary General decided to refer the matter to the UEFA...

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