Bribe Scheme Might Derail Brazil’s Soccer Season

The edition of Brazilian weekly magazine, which is out today, brings serious charges about the way main soccer games are refereed in the country. According to the magazine, an organized Mafia operating in the cities of São Paulo and Piracicaba (both in the state of São Paulo) has been bribing referees in order to alter the matches results.

The bribe scheme, says Brazil’s number one weekly magazine, had as objective profiting from illegal bets done through the Internet. If confirmed these charges could affect the very foundations of the Brazilian soccer world.

Edí­lson Pereira de Carvalho, 43, who is a Fifa umpire since 1999, is one of those involved in the alleged scheme. Carvalho, who is from São Paulo has already refereed 11 matches in the Brasileirão (Brazilian Championship), this year. All of these games might be annulled if the charges are proved right.

“If you can confirm that people conspired to obtain advantage, this could lead to the matches’ annulment. We will analyze game by game,” said Luiz Zveiter, the president of the STJD (Supremo Tribunal de Justiça Desportiva – Sport’s High Court of Justice).

It’s also expected that these allegations will provoke a rush by those teams that lost to the courts. The Veja charge was based on taped phone conversations. In one of the tapes, Carvalho encourages a business man, called Nagib Fayad, to bet on the game between Vasco and Figueirense. Vasco ended winning 2 to 1.


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