Sports betting CPI: President of Vila Nova supports betting restriction on game results
Photo: MyKe Sena/Chamber of Deputies

In the first public hearing of the sports betting CPI on match-fixing in football, participants in the debate pointed out the need for legal measures to curb this type of crime. President of Vila Nova, and the first to denounce fraudulent schemes to the Public Ministry, Hugo Jorge Bravo considers crucial, for example, the creation of police stations specialized in the investigation of sports crimes.

The manager also supports the law to prohibit betting on isolated game events, such as yellow or red cards and penalties. For Hugo Bravo, bets should only concern the final result of the games. For him, smaller championships, such as the sub-17 or sub-20, should not be the subject of bets either.

“It is important that you have a sensitivity to restrict some events that are the subject of bets. We cannot imagine that an under-20 championship in Acre is the object of bets by people from anywhere in the world, we cannot imagine that yellow cards can be the object of bets, we cannot imagine that a penalty in the first half can be betting object, because any and all individual actions will facilitate corruption”, he pondered.

In the opinion of the Attorney General of the Public Ministry of Goiás, Cyro Terra Peres, who investigates fraud in betting on football matches, it is also necessary to create mechanisms for clubs, federations and confederations to act in order to prevent these schemes. He defends the creation of channels for receiving complaints, for example, so that they are later sent to official investigation bodies.

The Public Prosecutor of Goiás Fernando Cesconetto, involved in investigating the manipulation scheme, agrees that the lack of regulation harms the action of investigative bodies.

Fernando Cesconetto points out that the resolution of fraud cannot depend on isolated actions, such as the attitude of a club president who reports, so that the information reaches the investigation bodies. The prosecutor also defends the creation of norms for sports teams and federations to receive and pass on complaints, with the definition of responsibilities for each of these organizations.

Sports betting CPI results

Rapporteur of the sports betting CPI, deputy Felipe Carreras (PSB-PE) stated that the Legislature was challenged not only to join efforts with the Public Ministry of Goiás and other institutions to clarify fraud in football, but also to find ways to prevent crimes futures. The parliamentarian stressed the relevance of football in Brazilian culture and stated that fraud “puts in check the credibility of current championships and those that have already existed.”

“This CPI will not end in pizza, you can write and collect. It will give punitive results, to set an example, and also in an educational way, to have legislation that will protect perhaps one of the greatest assets of the Brazilian people, which is football”, assured Carreras.

Both the president of Vila Nova and the investigators from Goiás reinforced that, so far, investigations are restricted to isolated cases and do not compromise competitions. Cyro Terra was adamant when saying that there is no evidence of participation of club directors or judges in fraudulent schemes.

Bookmakers would also be victims of criminal organizations. Attorney Fernando Cesconetto clarified that they found bets worth BRL 500,000 in which bettors would receive more than BRL 2 million in a round of games, and who would pay the difference would be the bookmakers, who would therefore be harmed with the scheme.

Fernando Cesconetto also reported that investigations by the MP from Goiás are restricted to games that took place from the second half of 2022. The body has already denounced 13 members of the criminal organization and 24 athletes. Match manipulations were detected in eight matches of the A series and in five matches of the Brazilian championship series in 2022. The gang also interfered in four matches of the state championships this year.