The lower house of the country’s Congress announced on Tuesday it had opened an investigation into the growing match fixing scandal. This scandal could have wider implications for South America and has already affected Major League Soccer in the United States.
The Congressional investigation aims to crack down on sports corruption in Brazil
As described last week, the scandal involves players being booked (that is, receiving yellow and red cards) to ensure certain outcomes of sports betting. The state of Goias was named as the primary state where the crimes took place. Both federal policy and district attorneys’ offices in the state are now involved.
The investigation is expected to last 120 days, and 34 lawmakers will be involved. Investigators found that players were paid between $10 000 and $20 000 for certain actions during games such as getting yellow cards or helping their opponents score penalty kicks. Felipe Carreras, a congressman from Brazil, said the investigation would aim to eliminate corruption in Brazilian soccer.
Carreras expressed his frustration: “We don’t even know if a certain yellow card, red card or penalty was meant to occur or not.” Brazil has been tackling the issue for years, even before the Congressional investigation. In November, a Congressional investigation was launched to look into specific games.
Corruption in the Home is exported Abroad
According to reports, the organizers of these crimes in Brazil communicated with counterparts and contacts in other countries including United States Greece and Lithuania. The investigation, which began last year and identified 16 individuals as being involved in match-fixing, has now seen all defendants suspended for the moment from professional soccer.
Brazil’s sports court made the decision, and both the first and second divisions of the country were represented by the players. This shows that soccer is a sport with widespread corruption. Brazil believes that despite the international implications of the case it will not be expelled from soccer. It would still need to clean its act.