The Malta Football Association issued a statement after the EURO 2008 qualifier between Norway and Malta, played on June 2nd 2007 was mentioned in a trial currently being held in Bochum, Germany, over match-fixing allegations.
The statement says, “In the light of information by the Malta Football Association in relation to the trial presently being held in Bochum, Germany, regarding match-fixing allegations issued against Ante Sapina, Marijo Cvrtak and Dragan Mihelic, and wherein mention was made of the qualification match Norway vs Malta, played on 2nd June 2007 in Oslo, Norway, the Malta Football Association hereby notifies that the necessary investigative procedures have been initiated.”
The Malta Football Association said it shall communicate further information at the opportune time.
What is considered to be Europe’s largest match-fixing trial opened in Bochum last year where these persons were accused of bribing players and referees to fix matches, helping them to win more than a million euros by betting on the games.
Bets were placed on the outcome of the matches as well as red cards and late goals. The winnings from these matches amounted to around 1.6 million euros.
Three hundred games across Europe, are believed to have been manipulated. These games include minor Champions League and World Cup qualifiers.
Malta had lost the game in Oslo – a EURO 2008 qualifier – 4-0 with goals by Kristofer Haestad on 31 minutes, Thorstein Helstad on 73 minutes, Steffen Iversen on 79 minutes and John Arne Riise on the 90th.
According to evidence being given in Bochum, reported on sueddeutsche.de, Marijo Cvrtak said he had travelled to a hotel in Oslo where he met with at least three Maltese players. He went on to say “I would have preferred a 5-0 win, but the players had already discussed together.”