German Soccer Scandal Envelops Players | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.02.2005
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German Soccer Scandal Envelops Players

It now appears that disgraced referee Robert Hoyzer's match-rigging is the tip of the iceberg in the German soccer scandal. Revelations on Monday named players accused of receiving cash incentives in disputed games.


German Football Federation blows the whistle on referee and players

The corruption scandal engulfing German soccer shows no sign of dying down with the German Football Federation (DFB) investigation claiming another scalp on Monday.

It has been revealed that the SC Paderborn captain, Thijs Waterink, received €10,000 ($13,000) from an anonymous backer as an incentive to defeat Hamburg in the German cup tie, one of the four matches shamed referee Robert Hoyzer has since admitted to manipulating for a €70,000 purse

"I did not know before the game that the players would be receiving this bonus," Paderborn president Wilfried Finke told the N24 television channel. "A man from southern Europe phoned team captain Waterink and said, 'There is €10,000 as a team bonus if you win against Hamburg. If you do not, we want the money back.'"

Schiedsrichter Rober Hoyzer, Spiel HSV gegen SC Paderborn

Referee Robert Hoyzer during Hamburg-Paderborn game

Paderborn won the game 4-2 after Hoyzer awarded two controversial penalty kicks and sent off Hamburg's Belgian international Emile Mpenza. Dutchman Waterink split the unrecorded bonus among his victorious team-mates.

He has since been suspended as part of the escalating investigation which has already seen the end of Hoyzer's career while four men were arrested last week and three have been charged with fraud in connection with the case.

Fears of a scandal to rival 1971

The widening scandal has ominous similarities to the one that plunged German soccer into its darkest hour 34 years ago. Match-fixing and bribes engulfed the Bundesliga in 1971 when more than 50 players, a number of coaches and officials plus the clubs Arminia Bielefeld and Kickers Offenbach were found guilty of offering bribes and fixing Bundesliga games, prompting the DFB to dish out hefty fines and suspensions.

Revelations of coercion between parties will no doubt bring the nightmares back for the DFB -- and it is likely to get worse. The news that both Paderborn and Hoyzer were directly involved has caused a further shock and Finke claims it is highly likely that Hamburg also have a role to play.

Hamburg players suspected of complicity

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," explained Finke. "Since the referee and Paderborn players are involved I would also suggest that the Hamburg players are looked at too. To ensure a bet comes off you need all three parties involved - the winners, the losers and the referee."

Bundesliga 2003 Vereinslogos HSV Hamburger Sport Verein

Hamburg SV

Hamburg are furious at the implication and club president Bernd Hoffmann admitted legal action was being considered. "The comments are a disgrace," raged Hoffmann. "We will speak with our lawyer about these claims and think about taking legal action."

Hertha Berlin are another Bundesliga side implicated in the scandal with three of their players -- Alexander Madlung, Nando Rafael and Josip Simunic -- named in connection with a second round cup match between Hertha and Eintracht Braunschweig on Sept. 22 of last year.

Regional side Braunschweig won 3-2 with defender Madlung scoring an own goal in the 80th minute to seal Hertha's defeat. The capital club have denied that their players were involved and the trio have pleaded their innocence.

More clubs and players to be probed

Sitzung des DFB-Präsidiums

The DFB investigation hopes to move swiftly to close the case.

Two other lower division clubs Dresden and Chemnitz have also been mentioned in connection with match-fixing while referee Jurgen Jansen is also being investigated after he was named by Hoyzer.

Jansen was due to referee Werder Bremen's match against Hansa Rostock on Sunday but the DFB chose to remove him before kick-off. The DFB described Jansen's removal as a "purely precautionary measure," saying he wasn't suspected of fixing matches. Jansen gave a sworn statement on Monday denying any connection to the affair.

Meanwhile, bookmaker Oddset has accused the DFB of failing to heed a tip-off they gave on August 23 of last year in regard to the Hamburg-Paderborn game. Oddset maintained they sent a fax to the DFB 48 hours after the cup match but DFB president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder denied the bookmaker's claim.

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