Avi Luzon questioned by police in 'game fixing probe'

Football Association chief reportedly questioned for two hours by Yavne police; probe involves allegations of game fixing and bribing a judge.

June 22, 2011 18:25
1 minute read.
Soccer game

soccer game 248.88. (photo credit: Channel 10)


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Israel Football Association head Avi Luzon was questioned under caution by police in Yavne on Wednesday as part of a major investigation centering on suspicions of game-fixing, which have cast a shadow over the Israeli Premier League.

The investigation has become so intensive that Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino called a special meeting with police central district head Cmdr.

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Bentsi Sado and other senior officials to discuss the latest developments on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the officials discussed suspicions that Premier League games were fixed and that threats were made to arrange the game fixing.

Danino added that “due to the severity and scope of the offenses, the investigation must be widened and joined by the police’s Lahav 433 unit in order to uproot all corruption and criminality in Israeli soccer.”

Lahav 433 is an elite national investigative unit, and its entrance into the investigation signifies the severity of the alleged game fixing affair.

Ma’ariv reported on Wednesday that an alleged criminal had also been questioned as part of the investigation.

Luzon was seen entering the Fraud Department of the Israel Police in Yavne, where he was reportedly questioned for two hours before leaving the area.

The IFA stressed in a statement that Luzon had been summoned for a short investigation only, and released without restriction and without posting bail.

“I trust the Israel Police will do its job,” Luzon said in a statement. “I will be happy to continue and cooperate in the future.”

The investigation first surfaced with the arrest of Hapoel Petah Tikva directors Tomer Sinai and Gal Hatzor earlier this week on suspicion of fixing games and bribing a judge.

Both men have denied all suspicions against them.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court extended their custody by five days on Tuesday before choosing to shorten it to two days Wednesday.

Former Petah Tikva coach Yuval Naim and Hapoel Haifa coach Nitzan Shirazi were also questioned in connection with the investigation on Wednesday, being asked, among other things, about Hapoel Haifa’s 3-2 victory over Hapoel Petah Tikva late last season.

Naim, was interrogated for a second time and then arrested on Wednesday.

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