Five ex-players of football club charged with bribery and fraud over match-fixing

2017-6-28


Five former players of a local football club (Football Club A) have been charged by the ICAC today (June 28) with offering and accepting bribes of $60,000 in total and fraud by contriving or attempting to contrive the results of three football matches of the Reserve Division League (RDL) organised by the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA).

D1, 30, D2, 31, D3, 36, D4, 24, and D5, 24, all former players of Football Club A, face a total of seven charges.

D1 and D2 face a joint charge of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. D2, D3, D4 and D5 jointly face a similar charge, while D2, D3 and D4 face a similar joint charge.

D2 and D4 each faces one charge of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO), while D3 and D5 each faces one charge of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO.

The defendants will appear in the West Kowloon Magistracy on Friday (June 30) for transfer of the case to the District Court for plea.

In the football season of 2015/2016, nine football teams, including Football Club A, competed for the Hong Kong Premier League (HKPL) Championship organised by the HKFA. Each of the teams was required to maintain its own reserve team to participate in the RDL.

At the material time, D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5 were registered HKPL football players of Football Club A for the football season. D3 was also a coach of the reserve team of Football Club A.

One of the charges alleges that between February 24 and 29, 2016, D1 and D2 conspired together and with other unknown persons to defraud Football Club A and the HKFA by dishonestly contriving or attempting to contrive the result of the football match of RDL between Football Club A and Football Club B on February 24, 2016.

Another charge alleges that on February 29, 2016, D2, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered $10,000 to a then football player of Football Club A as a reward for contriving or attempting to contrive the result of the above football match.

A third charge alleges that between March 23 and 31, 2016, D2, D3, D4 and D5 conspired together and with a then football player of Football Club C to defraud Football Club A and the HKFA by dishonestly contriving or attempting to contrive the result of another football match of RDL between Football Club A and Football Club C on March 23, 2016.

A fourth charge alleges that on March 27, 2016, D4, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered $10,000 to the then football player of Football Club A as a reward for contriving or attempting to contrive the result of the above football match, while two other charges allege that between March 23 and 31, 2016, D3 and D5, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, each accepted $20,000 from D2 for the same purpose.

The remaining charge alleges that between April 13 and May 13, 2016, D2, D3 and D4 conspired together and with the then football player of Football Club C to defraud Football Club A and the HKFA by dishonestly contriving or attempting to contrive the result of a third football match of RDL between Football Club A and Football Club C on April 13, 2016.

The HKFA and Football Club A have rendered full assistance to the ICAC in its investigation.

The defendants have been released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance on Friday.
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