Two athletes admit manipulation in three games of Série A do Brasileirão 2022
Photo: FreePik

Two athletes investigated in the Maximum Penalty Operation, which investigates a scheme for manipulating bids and games from Series A and B of the Brazilian Championship last year, acknowledged that they received money to manipulate three games in the first division of the 2022 Brasileirão.

In videos published by the Uol portal, lateral Moraes and defender Kevin Lomónaco told Fernando Cesconetto, prosecutor of the Public Ministry of Goiás (MP-GO), that they accepted money from members of the gang to get yellow cards.

“I needed the money and ended up agreeing to do it. My wife was mad at me”, said Moraes, who was at Juventude and received R$ 25,000 to take yellow cards against Palmeiras and Goiás.

“He said that I was going to make some quick money, that I just had to get a yellow card. I was in training, the day before the game. He kept insisting, sending messages, saying ‘let’s close, brother, it’s money…’. But I did it without any knowledge that it was a crime, something like that. I did it normally, I didn’t ask anyone anything”, said Lomónaco.

The Bragantino defender claimed to have agreed to pocket R$70,000 for a yellow card against América-MG, but says he only received R$30,000 from the criminal group.

Cases of match-fixing and their consequences

The two players are part of the group of investigated athletes, however, they decided to make an agreement not to receive a sentence of up to six years in prison. Upon acknowledging their participation in the manipulation scheme, the two became witnesses for the Public Ministry.

It is worth mentioning that Moraes and Kevin have already been removed from the activities of their respective clubs for an indefinite period. According to the ESPN website, the Public Ministry is investigating 16 names due to the match-fixing scheme. In all, there are seven soccer players and nine gamblers.

2022 Brazilian Championship Series A games under investigation:

  • Palmeiras x Juventude
  • Juventude x Fortaleza
  • Goiás x Juventude
  • Ceará x Cuiabá
  • Red Bull Bragantino x América-MG
  • Santos x Avaí
  • Botafogo x Santos
  • Palmeiras x Cuiabá

Players under investigation:

  • Eduardo Bauermann (Santos)
  • Gabriel Tota (Ypiranga-RS)
  • Victor Ramos (Chapecoense)
  • Igor Cariús (Sport)
  • Paulo Miranda (Náutico)
  • Fernando Neto (São Bernardo)
  • Matheus Gomes (Sergipe)

Players named in the lawsuit:

  • Vitor Mendes (Fluminense)
  • Richard (Cruzeiro)
  • Nino Paraíba (América-MG)
  • Dadá Belmonte (América-MG)
  • Kevin Lomonaco (Red Bull Bragantino)
  • Moraes Jr. (Juventude)
  • Nikolas Farias (Novo Hamburgo)
  • Jarro Pedroso (Inter de Santa Maria)
  • Nathan (Grêmio)
  • Pedrinho (Athletico-PR)
  • Bryan García (Athletico-PR)