Manipulation: Uefa blocks referee

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Maximilian Deininger 26. April 2021

The referee Sergey Lapochkin is suspected of manipulation and has now been suspended by UEFA. The European Football Association stated that the Russian referee blocked for 90 days. The starting point is the Europa League qualifying game held in July 2018 between the Latvian association FK Ventspils and the French club Girondin Bordeaux. According to matching media reports from Russia, the UEFA should have information that Lapochkin is said to have been involved in possible attempts at manipulation.

Sergey Lapochkin has already whistled four qualification games in the Champions League as a referee. ((©Taken/Pixabay)

Offer for game manipulation

The guest from France won the game between FK Ventspils and Girondins Bordeaux with a narrow 1-0 win. Even if the supposed favorite of bookmakers and betting providers was able to prevail with the end result, the UEFA has valid evidence, link the Sergey Lapochkin with a supposed attempt at manipulation.

According to the Russian press landscape, the referee is said to have received the offer to deliberately push the game. Lapochkin rejected the offer, However, the procedure of the ominous fraud is not forwarded to the responsible bodies of the UEFA. The investigators of the European Football Association are said to have found out in the course of the scheduled investigations that the Russian referee is said to have had telephone with a suspect. This should be the alleged string puller behind the manipulation attempt. The UEFA cannot say exactly who it is specifically.

Experienced referee. Sergey Lapochkin is considered an experienced impartial in European football. The Russian has already whistled some top -class games. These include four games in the qualification of the Champions League. The situation around the alleged manipulation attempt is all the more complicated.

Lapochkin under observation

Despite the successful career as a referee, Lapochkin has not noticed negatively for the first time with the latest manipulation locking. The Russian is currently under the observation of the UEFA Ethics Commission. In three other cases, he is said to have violated the disciplinary rules of the European Football Association. According to the official statues, it is about active or passive fraud to the potential influence of game courses and the reporting obligation of attempts to manipulate.

Apart from the UEFA, Lapochkin is also viewed critically in his own country. The Russian Football Association launched an investigative examination against its own referee last year. He the top game between Spartak and Lokomotive Moscow will have deliberately influenced. According to media reports, a lie detector test is said to have been used to clarify. However, the internal investigative work would not have created a sufficient evidence to convict Lapochkin of fraud.

Petition for repeat offenders. Although Lapochkin has to answer in several cases, the referee has not yet allowed himself a major misstep. For this reason, the 90-day suspension is rather mild in view of the manipulation affair according to the UEFA guidelines. It is still unclear how the European Football Association intends to run with the Russian impartial in the future.

Manipulation in football

Sports betting is a billion dollar business. Fraudsters also know that and systematically try Influence on games to take gigantic profits from the individual betting providers. For this Try to undermine both the integrity of the sports betting and footballBy specifically approaching personalities from sport. In addition to players, it is also often the referees who play a central role in the manipulation plans of the fraudsters. The idea behind it is clear. As a main key figure, referees can have a major impact on the course of a game. Normally, they should appear as a passive and neutral game master. In a manipulation scenario, however, it looks completely different.

How devastating and serious it can end when referees abuse their power for manipulative goals, shows the example from 2005. The then American referee Robert Hoyzer Systematically postponed games of the 2nd Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the regional league. Included the Croatian betting mafia is said to have played a major role. The then DFB press chief confirmed that there were information on connections to a Croatian group that is based in Berlin and manipulates football games.

Covering the scandal. Despite large -scale investigations, the police lacked the decisive evidence at the time to finally convict Robert Hoyzer. Only through the help of the four referees Lutz Michael Fröhlich, Olaf Blumenstein, Manuel Gräfe and Felix Zwayer could the manipulation affair gradually be uncovered. As a consequence, Hoyzer was banned from the DFB for life. In addition, the Berlin district court sentenced him to a prison sentence of two years and five months without probation.