The ex-Allsvenskan football player is in the hall when the trial in the Court of Appeal ends on Wednesday afternoon. He was acquitted of bribery and gambling in the district court in early June.
The prosecutors claim that the player deliberately took a yellow card in an Allsvenskan match in the spring of 2019 in return for a loan of SEK 300,000, but the district court considered that there was no evidence of a conviction.
“No big impact”
In the Court of Appeal, the prosecution emphasizes that the elite player was in great need of borrowing money because he had an extensive gambling addiction. Then it was not a big step to take a warning as a consideration for a loan, the prosecutors believe.
– It does not mean a big impact on either the match or for himself in that situation, says Staffan Edlund, one of two prosecutors in the case, about the yellow card.
Since this is an individual incident, the prosecutors do not demand imprisonment for the elite player, but that the penalty should be a conditional sentence and a daily fine.
– It has admittedly been an all-Swedish match, but it was a minor manipulation on one occasion, says Staffan Edlund.
The prosecution believes that there is evidence that this is an agreement, but the defense believes that this is a regular loan without a requirement for any form of consideration.
“Swallowed his income”
– He has been well paid, had plenty of money, but he has had a gambling addiction that has devoured his income, says the player’s defense lawyer Frank Thorstensson.
The football professional has earned a lot of money during his career and has made a living from football for about ten years. He has previously stated that he has no savings in the bank – everything must have disappeared due to gambling addiction.
– I can openly say that I have had an addiction. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s true. If you have lost so much money, it must be seen as an addiction, he said during the trial in the district court.
The elite player usually takes out a loan, but has always paid it back, the defense lawyer states. Despite an extensive investigation, there is nothing to indicate a criminal plan, according to the defense.
– What has been found is a promissory note and cash flows, completely correct flows, says Frank Thorstensson.
The loan from the co-accused 31-year-old – one of two suspected match fixers – is a legitimate loan without a requirement that the player should take a yellow card, the defense emphasizes.
– That (loan) has nothing to do with his football career, it is also ruined today, I can add, says Frank Thorstensson.
Shut down worldwide
At the moment he can not play football at all. The elite player has since mid-February been suspended from all sports in the world and despite the acquittal in the district court, the Swedish Football Association sentenced him to four years suspension in Sweden.
The football player, who has belonged to a foreign club since January 2020, has appealed that decision to the National Sports Board. The global suspension decision from the International Football Association (Fifa) is still in force.
This is the fifth match-fixing scandal that has reached a Swedish court and all have been appealed to the Court of Appeal. In three of the cases, there has been a conviction in the higher instance – in one of the cases, the Court of Appeal has acquitted.
Facts: The accused
On Wednesday, the trial in the Court of Appeal regarding the match-fixing scandal ends, where a former Allsvenskan player was acquitted in the district court regarding taking a bribe and gambling fraud.
Here are the four accused persons involved in the case:
Exempted from the charge of taking bribes and gambling. In a Allsvenskan football match in the spring of 2019, he received a yellow card, intentionally according to the prosecution. A few days before the match, he had signed a promissory note and a couple of days after the match, the player received SEK 300,000 deposited in his account. Over 30 betting accounts had bet money that he would get a yellow card, in some cases in combination with a result on a match in division 3. The player must have paid off the entire loan and also interest. He himself claims that this is a regular loan without a requirement for consideration.
A now 35-year-old man who was sentenced for taking bribes and gambling fraud to a suspended sentence. He is a goalkeeper in a division 3 club and has received a total of around SEK 45,000 to influence the outcome of six league matches during the 2019 season.
Convicted of giving a bribe and cheating in the part about the six division 3 matches, but was acquitted in the part concerning the Allsvenskan player. According to the indictment, the man must have paid SEK 300,000 to the ex-Allsvenskan player – something that the prosecutor considers to be a bribe for the player to receive a yellow card in the Allsvenskan match. The 31-year-old must on six occasions have paid the goalkeeper to influence the outcome of six Division 3 matches during the 2019. The sums vary between SEK 2,000 and 11,000 – a total of SEK 44,500. One of the matches has been part of a combination game with the Allsvenskan player receiving a warning. He claims that he has received the money back from the goalkeeper in cash.
Completely acquitted of the charge of bribery and gambling. Charged with bribery, alternatively aiding and abetting the same crime, and gambling. Must have bribed the ex-Allsvenskan player with 300,000 kronor to take a card, alternatively “with advice and deed promoted the act”, according to the indictment.
All deny the crime.
Sources: The indictment, the preliminary investigation report and the district court ruling