The Civil Police of São Paulo is making progress in investigations to unravel an alleged criminal organization that offers money to players to manipulate and change the results of matches, aiming to profit from betting on sports betting sites.
Two situations caught the attention of the Civil Police and the Paulista Football Federation (FPF), organizer of the São Paulo Junior Football Cup.
An alleged punter came into contact with players from two different teams, Zumbi de Alagoas and Real Ariquemes de Rondônia. The clubs would play for the second round of the first phase of the tournament, when the man, already identified as Diego Rodrigues, offered R$ 3 thousand for the players to help him in a certain number of corners in the respective games.
Real Ariquemes lost to Tanabi, while Zumbi de Alagoas played and won against Ferroviária. In both games, the players denounced the bettor’s proposals, registering police reports and also notifying the Paulista Federation.
The most recent incident involved young goalkeeper Evan Guilherme, aged 20, who had previously participated in the Copinha. He was contacted via a social media platform by the alleged punter, who offered him R$3,000 to allow a specific number of corners.
Evan Guilherme, Real Ariquemes goalkeeper, commented on the attempted fraud: “He didn’t ask to concede goals, he even uses a bit of his lip. He says that I wouldn’t harm myself. goals, but the proposal was to play as many balls as possible for corner kicks, on purpose, in this case, and in exchange he would give me a sum of money. It would be worth 3 thousand reais”.
“My reaction was one of surprise, you know. Because we know that in the world of football this betting business is very much in evidence, so… but I never imagined that it would happen to me. I was quite surprised, a little in shock, but my The reaction was different. I know my nature, so the first thing that crossed my mind was to deny it and sue the committee and the president of the club”, added the athlete.
Check below the exchange of messages between bettor and player
The Civil Police of the state of São Paulo managed to identify the person who made the proposals to the players. Diego Rodrigues, resident in the interior of São Paulo and a bank correspondent, through his lawyers, said he will come forward to clarify the situation in the next few days.
Justice should authorize the breaking of bank and telephone secrecy soon, which would help the investigation to find out if other attempts at bribery or payment were made to other athletes participating in the current edition of Copinha. The investigations are being conducted by the delegate Cesar Saad and should monitor even more cases related to match fixing and sports betting.
Measures to avoid manipulation of results in matches and sports betting sites
The São Paulo Football Federation (FPF) hired firms specialized in the surveillance of bookmakers to locate games at risk of manipulation. The aim is to compare information from sports betting sites with data from championships to identify any anomalies that may indicate the possibility of manipulation of the result.
Paulo Schmitt, president of the Integrity Committee of the São Paulo Football Federation, commented on the problem: “This happens with relative frequency, today we have, on average, in the state of São Paulo and in São Paulo football, seven to ten confirmed cases of manipulation departures per year. It is an amount, let’s say, controlled, a value even controlled close to the whole of Brazil that in 2022 alone has already confirmed approximately 130 cases.”
“The Copinha itself, which did not arouse so much interest in the past, due to the low wages, the age group and the risk factors that are present in various types of events and competitions, and the characteristics of athletes who compete in these events, it has even become a target priority in a way. And it’s a national event”.
“So, as much as you do control, inspection, education within São Paulo football, when you have a national event, with athletes from all over Brazil, that makes the Copinha a different risk point for us” – completed Schmitt.
The representative of the São Paulo Football Federation believes that it is important to work together with football organizations and law enforcement authorities to minimize the possibility of game fraud, especially in lower level competitions.