Dutch football association KNVB confirmed that match fixing took place in at least two Willem II matches in the top league. Both cases involve former Willem II player Ibrahim Kargbo and match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.
The first match fixing case involves the Willem II match against FC Utrecht on August 9th, 2009. Email conversations between Kargbo and match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal show that the two agreed that Willem II will lose the game. In the emails Kargbo indicates that “the captain”, then Michael Aerts, and a third player will cooperate. In return for deliberately losing this match, each of these three players would receive 25 thousand euros from Perumal.
Perumal later claimed that the match fixing failed – the agreement was that FC Utrecht one by more than one goal, which did not happen. Nevertheless, it is clear that match fixing took place, according to the KNVB’s integrity unit. There is not enough legal evidence to prove that Aerts was involved and the identity of the third person is unclear.
The investigation also showed that Perumal and Kargbo arranged a charity match between Willem II and Sierra Leone on November 14th, 2009 with the aim to manipulate the results for gambling purposes. Despite the lack of legal proof that the game was actually manipulated, the integrity unit believes that Kargbo and Perumal organized the match with the intent to manipulate it. The integrity unit also found evidence that Kargbo and Perumal had contact with each other about manipulating Sierra Leone’s national team’s matches for some time.
“The Dutch football has as one of the last in Europe officially lost its innocence in this area”, KNVB operational director Gijs de Jong said in reaction. “We know match fixing does not stop at national borders and the KNVB said long ago that it can happen in Dutch competitions. Yet now it was officially established. At the same time we hope that something good will come out of this. Namely that it contributes to the urgency in the Netherlands to combat this scourge in the sport.”
The KNVB shared the results of this investigation with UEFA, FIFA and the Dutch Public Prosecutor. As Kargbo is no longer a member of the KNVB, the professional football prosecutor can not act against him. The Public Prosecutor will carry out a criminal investigation into this matter.