‘Investigation into Match-Fixing in Brazil Reaches New Stage with Maximum Penalty’

Date: November 29, 2023, 08:27h. 

Last updated on: November 29, 2023, 08:27h.

Brazil’s Public Ministry of Goiás (MP-GO) has begun the third phase of Operation Maximum Penalty targeting match-fixing in soccer. The recent search and seizure warrants in multiple states were part of an investigation into seven matches.

Members of Brazil's Goiânia Esporte Clube soccer team huddle on the field
Members of Brazil’s Goiânia Esporte Clube soccer team huddle on the field. The team is one of several under investigation for possible match-fixing in previous games. (Image: Guia de Boleiro)

The Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime (Gaeco) led the operation, with support from various government agencies, indicating a strong resolve to address match-fixing.

During this focused effort, the investigation included a match in the 2022 Brazilian Championship between Flamengo and Avaí, raising significant concerns about the legitimacy of Avaí’s 2-1 victory.

No End to the Investigation

In line with the prior Operation Maximum Penalty phases, ten search and seizure warrants were executed in several cities. This included matches from the 2022 Brazilian Championship’s Series B league and several games from this year involving different teams. Specific details of the investigation and players involved have not been revealed.

In past investigations, several players faced penalties for involvement in match-fixing, signaling a firm stance against the malpractice.

Brazilian Football Confederation Gets Some Help

In an attempt to tackle match-fixing, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the Federal Police (PF) have teamed up. Soccer officials across the country have been informed by the CBF’s president about the collaboration to ensure transparency and tackle suspected cases.

The CBF has also been monitoring over 3,000 matches yearly through Sportradar to address match-fixing and corruption. This monitoring extends to lower-tier league games, highlighting the comprehensive approach being undertaken by both the CBF and external partners.

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