Bundesliga Scandal (2005) - Overview


Four referees – Lutz Michael Fröhlich, Olaf Blumenstein, Manuel Gräfe, and Felix Zwayer – went to officials of the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund, DFB) with their suspicions about Hoyzer. Initially, the DFB did not immediately act, but after becoming aware of the accusations, Hoyzer stepped down from his role as a referee.

Indications are that Hoyzer had regular meetings in Berlin with a group of three brothers who were part of a Croatian gambling syndicate connected to an organized crime group. After a confession from Hoyzer, several suspects were put under surveillance and on January 28, 2005 a number of people were arrested. Milan Šapina, operator of the Café King sports betting agency and his brother Philip were taken into custody, along with Hertha Berlin players Alexander Madlung, Nando Rafael and Josip Šimunić. Madlung, Rafael, and Šimunić all played in Hertha's surprising 3-2 defeat to third-division side Eintracht Braunschweig in their September 22, 2004 German Cup match, with Madlung giving up a crucial 80th minute own goal, only four minutes after coming on as a substitute. The trio came under suspicion for having been known to associate with the Šapina brothers, but there has been no proof that they actually participated in the manipulation of this or any other match.

As witnesses against Hoyzer, the Berlin referees Lutz Michael Fröhlich and Manuel Gräfe were immediately relieved of their officiating responsibilities for their own safety, being replaced by Franz-Xaver Wack and Torsten Kinhöfer. The referees scheduled to officiate matches in the 19th round of Bundesliga play on January 29 and 30, 2005 were all changed the day before the games were played.

Hoyzer co-operated with investigators in helping to uncover the details of the scheme, implicating other officials, players, and a group of Croatian-based gamblers. This led to an investigation by the league, as well as a criminal investigation. By the end of 2005, it appeared that the scandal did not directly involve the Bundesliga and was confined to lower divisions. The investigations lead to the following results:

  • Hoyzer was banned for life from any role in football and received a 29-month prison sentence. Jail sentences for Hoyzer and five other defendants were confirmed in December 2006 after they had lost their final appeals in court.
  • Referee Dominik Marks was banned for life and received an 18-month sentence for his involvement.
  • The three Croatian brothers orchestrating the scheme received sentences ranging from 35 months in prison to 12 months - suspended.
  • Referee Torsten Koop received a three-month ban for not promptly reporting an approach from Hoyzer.
  • Matches involving officials and players accused or convicted for their involvement in the scheme were subject to review by the league.
  • Hamburger SV received compensation worth up to €2 million for its forced early exit from the DFB Cup and compensation for certain other teams affected was arranged.
  • After review, replays have been ordered for a number of lower division games, while other results will stand.
  • A number of changes have been put in place or proposed to ensure closer oversight of referees and other game officials.
  • Once the criminal issues involved have been resolved, it is expected that a number of civil suits will arise as some clubs and individuals seek compensation for harm suffered as a result of the scandal.

Read more about this topic:  Bundesliga Scandal (2005)

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