Hoyzer 'admits fixing Boro match'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The ripples from the German refereeing scandal are spreading around Europe. While Uefa, the European game's ruling body, is to look into allegations of match-rigging in Greece and Austria, reports in Germany allege that Robert Hoyzer, the referee at the centre of the controversy, has confessed to fixing a friendly last summer between Hansa Rostock and Middlesbrough.

The ripples from the German refereeing scandal are spreading around Europe. While Uefa, the European game's ruling body, is to look into allegations of match-rigging in Greece and Austria, reports in Germany allege that Robert Hoyzer, the referee at the centre of the controversy, has confessed to fixing a friendly last summer between Hansa Rostock and Middlesbrough.

According to the television station TV Berlin, the gamblers who are alleged to have run the German match-fixing scam chose the pre-season game at Rostock on 31 July as a test run. Three weeks later Hoyzer fixed a German Cup match between Paderborn and Hamburg, one of the games at the centre of current investigations.

Although one report said the plan to rig the Middlesbrough game was never carried out, TV Berlin said Hoyzer admitted to Berlin prosecutors on Monday that he had received €1,000 (£691) to fix the match in the home team's favour. Hansa, currently bottom of the Bundesliga, won 3-1, all the goals coming in the second half. It was suggested that Hoyzer would have been paid more if Hansa had been leading at half-time.

At the time there were no questions raised over Hoyzer's performance. A spokesman for Middlesbrough, who are playing a Uefa Cup tie in Austria tonight, declined to comment.

Uefa, meanwhile, is to send investigators to Greece to look into allegations that a Uefa Cup match between Panionios and Dinamo Tbilisi last December was rigged as part of a betting scam.

Panionios beat Tbilisi 5-2 in Athens after trailing 1-0 at the interval. Bookmakers reported unusually heavy betting on exactly such an outcome, which prompted the investigation. Tbilisi, who had no chance of qualifying for the next stage, and Panionios have both denied rigging the match.

Warren Lush, a spokesman for Ladbrokes, said: "We stopped betting on the game six hours before kick-off. We saw the big gamble coming. There was a lot of talk about a big gamble in internet chatrooms and on websites. There were a lot of sizeable bets on half-time/full-time outcomes, which you don't usually get. We have no evidence that the game was fixed, but there was enough evidence of a big gamble for us to act."

Although Uefa launched an inquiry into the game before the Hoyzer controversy came to light, a spokesman admitted yesterday that, "it might now have some link to the German refereeing investigation". The fact that Panionios players will now be interviewed next month - three months after suspicions were first aired - suggests the German affair has at least given further impetus to the inquiry. Hoyzer is said to have told investigators that the betting ring with which he had become involved also fixed matches in Greece and Austria.

Austrian police have already questioned three players as part of inquiries into the German scandal. A Uefa spokesman said: "So far we haven't opened an investigation [into the Austrian allegations], but we are looking into it. Based on what information we get we will decide whether we need to launch a formal investigation."

The German football federation has suspended another referee, Dominik Marks, after claims by Hoyzer that he helped attempt to recruit a third official, Torsten Koop, who has also been suspended.

The federation decided last week to pay compensation to Hamburg for their cup defeat against Paderborn and has also ordered that a Second Division match, between LR Ahlen and Wacker Burghausen, must be replayed after Hoyzer fixed the result of the original match in October. Another 12 German matches are still under investigation.

Comments