ISSN 2330-717X

Kosovo Issues First Indictment For Football Match-Fixing

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By Jakob Weizman

Four football officials have been indicted in Kosovo for allegedly fixing a match played in the northern city of Mitrovica in February, to secure a Belgian-based relative of one of those involved 10,000 euros in prize winnings, media reported on Thursday.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Mitrovica indicted three officials from the city’s Trepca football club on charges of abusing their positions, as well as a delegate from the Kosovo Football Federation, FFK, who is accused of plotting with the club officials in the match-fixing.

Those listed in the indictment, which BIRN has seen, are Trepca coach Fidaim Haxhiu, the club’s vice-president, Besim Haxhiu, its secretary, Fisnik Haxhiu, and the FKK’s Kemal Dumnica.

The match was played between the Trepca team and Fushe Kosova on February 25 as part of the 17th round in Kosovo’s First League, the second-highest football division in the country.

According to the indictment, Trepca was supposed to lose the first half of the game and then make a comeback in the second half, to win in the end.

Bejadin Haxhiu, Fidaim’s brother, who lives in Belgium, allegedly placed 40 bets on the outcome of the match that would earn him 10,000 euros. It is not known how much the other people involved expected to make from the scam, or their relation to each other.

The match ended 2-1, with the Trepca club claiming victory, though suspicions were voiced as soon as the whistle blew.

The Prosecutor’s Office filed the indictment in the northern Kosovo city on December 3; it was obtained by BIRN on December 19.

The Prosecutor’s office started investigating the match in March following accusations that it was deliberately lost. In another twist, the Trepca team deliberately fielded a player, with the initials V.A., who was not registered on its list of players, making it an illegal substitution, so enabling the rival team to appeal the result with the FKK.

Fushe Kosova did so, and was later declared the winner. However, Haxhiu’s bets were still valid, based on the initial outcome.

Following the appeal, the FKK penalised Trepca by awarding their scored goals to Fushe Kosova, making the final outcome 0-3 to the rival team.

Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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