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HomeNewsCosta Rica’s Match-Fixing Scandal: Puerto Golfito FC Sanctioned

Costa Rica’s Match-Fixing Scandal: Puerto Golfito FC Sanctioned

The Disciplinary Commission of the Costa Rican Soccer Federation (FCRF) reported that match-fixing took place in the Second Division League (Liga de Ascenso) during the 2023 tournament. The club involved is Puerto Golfito FC, as confirmed by the Commission.

In November 2023, the FIFA Integrity Officer in Costa Rica submitted a report to the FCRF Disciplinary Committee after conducting an investigation based on an alert from FIFA’s suspicious activity detection system.

“The investigation included, among others, reports prepared by the company Sportradar (a specialist in detecting irregular activity in sports betting), as well as testimonies of several people,” the Costa Rican Soccer Federation mentioned.

As a result, the Disciplinary Committee developed the formal procedure, notifying those under investigation, reviewing the evidence, and calling witnesses to interview them directly.

The Disciplinary Commission determined by unanimous vote of its members that the directors of Puerto Golfito Fútbol Club indeed participated in match-fixing, for which it sanctioned the club and its main officials with a ten-year suspension from all types of federated soccer activities, as it is considered a very serious conduct against integrity in soccer.

Roy Telles Campos, the shareholder and president of the team, Deivis Antonio Barquero, majority shareholder, and Arturo Alberoni Palma Falla, sports manager, were sanctioned. Meanwhile, Sergio Hidalgo, the president of the Liga de Ascenso, revealed how the game-fixing was discovered.

“We received a complaint from some players and people from the Golfito FC team, and we had to act and file a complaint with the FIFA Integrity Officer,” said Hidalgo.

The head of the Second Division explained that he knew how to handle the match-fixing alert because he had attended a CONCACAF training session.

“I was trained by CONCACAF; I knew the protocol, and we filed the complaint, and the integrity officer knew the process,” he added. The Soccer Federation reiterated its commitment to fair play and the defense of the values promoted by the sport.

“The FCRF once again states that institutionalism is above any individual or collective interest, and that ‘fair play’ in all areas of soccer will always be the way forward,” they added. As this matter may be referred to the Court of Appeals, the Federation indicated that it is unable to provide further details.

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