Five athletes from Sampaio Corrêa used a messaging group on WhatsApp named ‘Lula 13’ to set up match-fixing actions in Serie B of the Brazilian Championship. The group was created in November 2022, a few days after the election of the current president for his third term. The information was revealed by Portal Uol.
What the Public Ministry discovered when analyzing the cell phone of one of those involved
The prints of the messages were found on Mateusinho’s cell phone. In conversations, he is praised by his teammates for having scored a penalty in the clash between Sampaio 2 x 1 Londrina in the last round of Série B. “He gave me a mission to kill… I said: ‘Ihh, someone is going to get fucked out there, because I’m going to give the cart, “said the side, today in Cuiabá.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the penalty had been demanded by people who sought to interfere in football matches in order to earn money from sports betting. The group’s athletes celebrated the penalty, however, they regretted that another action in the same round was not successful and caused damage to the match-fixing scheme.
In addition to Mateusinho, defenders Paulo Sérgio and Allan Godoi, defensive midfielder André Queixo and striker Ygor Catatau were part of the group. According to Uol, all were denounced for manipulation of a sporting event. Two other participants in the group, a goalkeeper and a poker player, were not reported.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office identified proof of payment of around 10,000 reais to Paulo Sérgio, which would represent an advance to athletes for armed plays. In front of prosecutors, players did not recognize the irregularities and claimed that they only dealt in the group of legalized betting, poker and video games.
Lula 13 Group
Uol found that the reason why the athletes chose to name the president for the group does not appear in the process. Among the messages exchanged talking about betting, there are two that have Lula’s name.
1st reference to Lula: after Mateusinho posts a sticker of himself holding a wad of money, the goalkeeper of the group sends a sticker of Lula with the phrase “Can you steal now?”
2nd reference to Lula: on November 13, Mateusinho writes “Today Lula has to win, for us to be well.” The second round took place on October 30 and the date corresponded to the last round of the Brasileirão. Subsequently, the members of the group articulated the bets they would make.
According to the Public Ministry, those involved in the match-fixing scheme had articulated penalties with athletes from Vila Nova and Sampaio himself. The Sampaio players followed through with the agreement, however, the Vila athletes did not go ahead, which resulted in a financial loss for the bettors.
Sampaio Corrêa players ended up not receiving part of the agreed amount and started charging. The MP also found a second group of messages.
In this group, five players “debate about the expectation of receiving amounts, the existence of the debt and the form of collection, expressing, more than once, that they would have fulfilled their part in the scheme — that is, committing the penalty — and expected to receive the entire amount promised”, found out the promoters of the “Maximum Penalty” according to an article by UOL.
Defense of players involved in alleged match-fixing
Paulo Sério’s defense alleges that the defender does not know who the poker player in the group is. He also claims to be unaware of the others involved in the alleged match-fixing scheme. The defense also reinforced that the athlete did not even play in the last clash of the second division of the Brasileirão in 2022.
The defense of the player André Queixo told Portal Uol that the process is still at an early stage and is awaiting a citation by the Justice to clarify the situation. Mateusinho did not respond to UOL’s contact, while the defenses of Allan Godoi and Ygor Catatau were not located by Diego Garcia and Adriano Wilkson who signed the article.