Three Tunisian tennis referees banned from sport for match-fixing

Three tennis referees have been banned from the sport until at least 2027 after being found guilty of match-fixing. Majd Affi, Mohamed Ghassen Snene and Abderahim Gharsallah received lengthy punishments for manipulating scores, according to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).

The Tunisian trio was found guilty of violating the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP), specifically sections D.1.b and D.1.d.

Section D.1.b states that any person shall not “directly or indirectly facilitate any other person to bet on the outcome or any other aspect of any event or any other tennis competition”.

Section D.1.d, in turn, states that “no person shall, directly or indirectly, influence the outcome, or any other aspect, of any event.”

For violating these rules, the Tunisian referee trio will not be able to work in any tennis event authorized or promoted by a national or international body until the end of its sanctions.

Majd Affi received a 20-year ban for match-fixing in competitions between 2017 and 2020

Affi, a chair umpire with a green badge, was further found guilty of violating sections D.2.c and F.2.b. These points refer to failure to comply with the need for communication and cooperation with the authorities.

Section F.2.b states: “All persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the Tennis Integrity Unit, including testimony at hearings if requested.”

Furthermore, the charges against Affi relate to various events between 2017 and 2020, while those of Snene and Gharsallah relate to an event in Tunisia in 2020. This explains why Affi faces the longest ban of the three. He is banned from serving as a referee for 20 years, until November 5, 2040.

Meanwhile, Snene and Gharsallah face shorter bans of seven years, valid until November 5, 2027. Noting that the sentences are counted from their provisional suspensions starting on November 6, 2020.