A 21-year-old Maltese man found guilty of match-fixing deserved a harsher sentence according to Malta Football Association President, Bjorn Vassallo.
“I can neither understand nor agree with this sentence which, in my opinion, is lenient and certainly doesn’t convey the right message, undermining the work of all those involved in the fight against match-fixing,” Vassallo said in a statement.
Yesterday, 21-year-old Rudger Scerri, who is a committee member of Attard F.C., admitted to charges of match-fixing and sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for four, along with a €50,000 fine.
However, the “lenient” sentence was seen as undermining the work of the MFA in combating match-fixing and corruption in football.
“This doesn’t vindicate the efforts undertaken by the MFA and other relevant stakeholders in the country to strengthen the protection of sports through the introduction of a new legislation for the prevention of match-fixing in 2018,” Vassallo continued.
Following the revelations, Attard F.C. and the MFA immediately severed ties with Scerri and suspended him from any football activity.
Scerri was arrested following a tip-off which prompted police to raid his residence. A search of his house revealed between €20,000 and €30,000 in cash and electronic devices used to carry out his match-fixing operations.
Scerri was also caught contacting players with bribes and several suspected accomplices are also being investigated.
“All the reforms being undertaken by the MFA will be strengthening the legislative framework to ensure that the right tools are in place to guard against any abusive behaviour which could damage the essence of football,” Vassallo ended.
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