October 26, 2014

Seven arrested in football match fixing claims in Latvia

Seven people have been arrested in Latvia over alleged match fixing claims in football.

Latvian police raided Daugava Daugavpils training ground on Wednesday over allegations key domestic and international football games had been rigged, LETA reports.

Responding to the police raid on the training ground, Daugava Daugavpils club director Edgars Limans said: "I believe that the raid was more of a shock therapy for the players before the actual interrogation took place, which lasted for about 40 minutes for each.

"The raid took place about ten minutes after we started training, therefore, the detainees should return to Daugavpils already by Friday," Limans believes, adding that the team should be back in its full makeup already by Sunday.

The arrests come after UEFA alleged a Champions League game between the Daugavpils side and Finnish side FC Elfsborg was fixed. The Latvian team lost the game last year 7-1.

It's not the first time match fixing allegations have been exposed in Latvian football.

Former Daugava striker Stanley Ibe from Nigeria caused uproar last year after saying that all the club players knew that several games had been rigged. Ibe said that the club's coach and players were paid for doing what former president Olegs Gavrilovs told them.

Gavrilovs was disqualified from Latvian football for life in 2009 and is believed to be one of the arrested, media reports say.

Dinaburg later merged with Daugava. Despite the ban, Gavrilovs can still be seen in the stands during almost every game Daugava plays.

Former Dinaburg head coach Tamaz Pertia was also disqualified in 2009 over corruption allegations. but his disqualification was lifted whilst he currently coaches Riga Skonto football club.

Meanwhile, it's believed police searches will be carried out other Latvian football clubs, sportacentrs.com reports. UEFA said it was investigating the conduct of Latvian football club FC Jurmala earlier this year.

Daugava is set to play its next Latvian Higher League match on Sunday against Daugavpils. The club became the Higher League champion in 2012.

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