Like a storm that starts in the Amazon and ends up engulfing the river, Argentina is closely watched the corruption scandal that is shaking Brazilian football: the fixing of incidents in the match that have an impact on the world of betting. This year, eight players from Brazilian First Division clubs were found guilty of manipulating some gambling actions for money. There’s more on the rise, including the Argentine Kevin Lomónaco, who admitted being reprimanded for 70,000 reaisof which he received only the advance of 30.
The possibility of betting via the internet outside the official houses, allow conjugation of subtle predictions that, if materialized, pay big money. Therefore, in Brazil A parliamentary commission is studying the possibility of turning the ban on sports betting on penalties, cards and corner kicks into law. But if the project is sanctioned, there will be no impediment for the countless number of sites that are dedicated to betting and which are not covered by the regulations of any country, except the one where their domain is registered.
Fixing the outcome of a match would involve many accomplices and the possibility of a suspicious staging. Receiving a warning or even being expelled is possible thanks to the will of a single person and has a good chance of being an unnoticed action. “One person called me and offered me 70,000 reais, about $14,000. And he told me that he would send him a deposit before the game, which was 30,000. He just had to be reprimanded,” summed up in his statement Lomónaco, former Lanús and Platense and with a past in the youth team, who on November 5 last year received the signal before the match against América to play his part and receive the yellow card the 24 minutes of the game.
“Then he kept asking me for a red card, a penalty, something much bigger. “There’s a lot of money, let’s fix it,” he told me she. But I didn’t mean to. I only did the yellow thing because I thought it wasn’t something that would hurt the team. I thought it was something normal and I didn’t even think it was a crime, something like that,” she explained in her statement before the prosecutor. Fernando Cesconettoin the lawsuit which became known as Operation Maximum which brought to light a number of manipulations in Brazilian football.
During 2022, 130 suspicious matches have been detected in Brazilian football, almost a sixth of those registered in the rest of the world. Although many of these matches correspond to promotion matches, the alarm was raised when the cases were registered in the first division.
The investigation was born in the state of Goiás following a complaint that set the Vila Nova club on fire: they verified that the midfielder Romario –who was not the legendary scorer- he accepted $30,000 to take a penalty against Sport for the Brazilian Serie B championship. Like Lomónaco, they gave him an advance, but on match day he was a substitute. Desperate, he proposed to some fellow inmates to take care of the order. This is how the reported information leaked. Among the people investigated there are two of the Brasileirao played by the champion of the contest, Palmeirasagainst Juventude and Cuiabá.
In recent days, the Justice has completed the arrest of a businessman who would be the link between “the betting mafia” and the players. This is Bruno López de Moura, currently the only one who has lost his liberty in the context of the lawsuit. In parallel, eight players have been removed from the squad as a preventive measure.
In addition to the Argentine Lomónaco del Bragantino, the Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) ordered the withdrawal of Eduardo Bauermann (Santos), Moraes (Aparecidense and ex Juventudes); Gabriel Tota (Ypiranga and ex Juventus), Paulo Miranda (Náutico and ex Juventus), Igor Cariús, (Sport and ex Cuiabá), Matheus Phillipe (Ipatinga, ex Sergipe) and Fernando Neto (San Bernardo, ex Operário).
Brazilian clubs on alert
The spread of cases threatens the clubs. In Rio de Janeiro, Vasco da Gama trained his players to act when faced with a proposal to fix situations in a match. Corinthians has organized an information day on betting manipulation and penalties for offenders.
For his part, Guild opted for an internal measure: club employees included football players and members of the coaching staff cannot place sports bets. This was communicated with the signature of the president, Albert Warafter striker Ferreira promoted a system of betting on his goals.
One of the first clubs to act on the situation was Goiás Esporte Clube. The president of the institution, Paulo Rogério Pinheiro, has attached a clause to the players’ contracts which specifies that the relatives of the players of that club will not be able to bet on the matches played by the team.
The situation in Argentina and the mechanisms to avoid “bad faith”
In Argentine football, cases that have received publicity have been reported at Ascent matches. It happened in the future, who took the decision to expel those responsible for the match from the club. There were four disaffected members of the Gerli club, which at that time competed in Prima C.
In the same category, Javier Balbuena of Puerto Nuevo made another situation visible. “I’m not the type to talk, anyone who knows me knows how I am. But I dedicate this victory to that person who called me and deals with bets. The worst thing is that he has been manager of a big team in the south zone, he offered me dollars to back me out, plus he continues to manage overseas… Amazing that a current DT is in the betting business and offers this to the players,” he wrote on Instagram, after his team beat Leandro Alem 1-0.
However, the advertisements on the betting sites on shirts are multiplying and one of these is the official sponsor of the national team. These are official bookmakers, whose common denominator is found in the -bet.ar- domain and in the type of bets: They do not allow combinations in which, individually, a player can act in bad faith, beyond some actionlike a penalty, which can be decisive in the result.
If I’m bet.ar, it means it pays taxes and it’s official. In December 2021, when the regulatory framework came into force in Argentina, there were 45 registered domains. Currently there are almost 150, although not all online bookmakers are active.
Bets made through these channels leave a percentage in taxes to the provincial state which has granted the license -in Argentina every province regulates gambling-, a few cents for each bettor -here the profit is given by the volume of users, not by bets- , and for those who are right, the jackpot.
Is there a possibility to fix? Most platforms opt for types of bets that do not allow a footballer to consent to some action in favor of a third party who knowingly bets, for example, a corner kick in the first five minutes. In general terms, the bets are on a home or away win and a draw, although there are combinations that allow you to multiply your winnings in case of success. When the result becomes very large (or suspicious), the possibility to continue betting is closed.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.