Three of five former Norwegian football players charged with match-fixing were convicted and sentenced to jail on Wednesday, while two others were acquitted. Two gamblers also charged in the case have been convicted as well.
“Norwegian football can never put this match-fixing behind it,” Yngve Hallén, president of the national football federation NFF, told news bureau NTB. “As long as there are people who operate with this kind of economic crime, we can’t ever be finished with this.”
Two of the players from the Follo football club and one from Asker were found guilty and sentenced to prison for between six and eight months. They were also fined NOK 30,000 (USD 4,000).
The two gamblers, one from Norway and one from Sweden, were ruled as being behind the scam that involved fixing football matches in the summer of 2012. The Swede was sentenced to 18 months in prison while the Norwegian got off with just a fine of NOK 2,500. Prosecutors had sought jail terms for both, of five and three years respectively.
The local court in Oslo (Oslo tingrett) ruled that the convictions were based large on taped conversations that Judge Anniken Nygaard Ottesen found as being central to the case. The five football players had been charged with serious fraud and corruption for allegedly fixing matches between the second-division clubs Frigg-Asker and Østsiden-Follo.
Additional concerns about a match between Ull/Kisa and HamKam were later ruled unfounded. All of the defendants had denied guilt, and they filed immediate appeals.