Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 19 News List

SC Paderborn names player in Germany's match-fixing scandal

AP , BERLIN

The first soccer player was implicated in Germany's deepening match-fixing scandal Sunday, while state prosecutors filed fraud charges against three men arrested in the case.

A referee was also replaced for Sunday's first-division match between Werder Bremen and Hansa Rostock after his name surfaced during the investigation into the affair, but he wasn't suspected of match fixing.

Michael Born, the business manager of third division SC Paderborn, confirmed to AP that the club had informed the German Soccer Federation that one of its players was involved with the Croatian betting group allegedly behind the match rigging.

Club president Wilfried Finke told Sportbild magazine his player was given money for Paderborn's 4-2 German Cup upset of Bundesliga club Hamburger SV in August.

The match was one of at least four games widely reported to have been fixed, with the investigation centering on referee Robert Hoyzer, accused of accepting bribes from the betting group.

"It's true that one of our players had contact with the betting group and took money. After the game, he gave part of the money to his teammates," said Finke, who did not name the player.

Hoyzer was the referee for the Paderborn-Hamburg match, decided on two controversial penalties.

After Hoyzer was questioned by authorities, police carried out raids Friday in four places in Berlin, including a cafe where the referee reportedly met with gamblers and bookmakers.

Four men were arrested and three charged.

"They are charged with a severe form of fraud. The three men have not said anything about the case," Michael Grunwald, spokesman for the Berlin state prosecutor's office, told the AP.

The three face between six months and 10 years in jail if found guilty. Hoyzer wasn't among those charged.

The German soccer federation also replaced referee Juergen Jansen for the Bremen-Rostock match after his name surfaced in the ongoing investigation.

A press release from the federation described the referee's removal as a "purely precautionary measure," saying Jansen wasn't suspected of fixing matches. The veteran referee has officiated in 142 first division games.

"The measure was taken to protect our referee, that to our knowledge of the moment, isn't connected to suspicions of manipulation," said Volker Roth, the head of referees. "As soon as the matter can be cleared up, Juergen Jansen will be in assignment again."

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