Acquitted football officials demand compensation

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Officials of the Stabæk Football Club in Bærum, just west of Oslo, claim the club and themselves have suffered financial losses and personal trauma since being charged with criminal fraud in a player transfer case. They were acquitted by a local court on Thursday and now say they’ll sue for compensation.

“We have lost many, many millions,” Ingebrigt Steen Jensen of Stabæk told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), while the club’s former sports leader Inge André Olsen claimed that the case “destroyed nearly two years of my life.”

Olsen, two other Stabæk officials and the former sports director of the Vålerenga football club in Oslo were indicted on charges involving the transfer of a player from Stabæk to Vålerenga in 2011. They were cleared by the court and Olsen said he was “frustrated” over how Norway’s national football foundation NFF, the police and some media outlets handled the case.

Both Stabæk and Vålerenga believe the criminal charges around their clubs hurt their reputations and their sales. If their acquittal stands, they may win a claim for compensation that would need to be paid at taxpayer expense.

“If the clubs and the individuals involved can prove major losses, they would be able to claim compensation,” lawyer and judicial expert Christian Lundin told NRK. “If their acquittal prevails (pending appeal by state prosecutors) it would surprise me if they don’t file a claim.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund