Exploring the Ongoing Struggle Against Match-fixing in Brazil’s Sports Scene

As Brazil continues to move forward in bringing lawful sports betting to the nation, the sporting industry is striving to eradicate a malignant affliction that has been plaguing it. Match-fixing in soccer has been a pervasive issue for some time, just as it has in other countries, and a new investigation has been launched.

Brazilian soccer players are competing for the ball on the pitch. The sport continues to be embroiled in a match-fixing scandal involving multiple Series B teams. (Image: Athletistic)

The manipulation of outcomes in sports betting has become a recurrent matter of discussion in Brazil. It has even entered into legislative dialogues as the country advances towards the adoption of new regulations.

The most recent purported match-fixing case focuses on fourteen individuals, which includes players, and at least three matches of the final round of Series B of the Brazilian Championship. As a result, numerous athletes are currently being investigated.

Maximum Punishment

What the authorities have designated as the Maximum Punishment inquiry, the Public Ministry has charged eight players with participating in an alleged match-fixing in the same Series B. This is an expansion of a match-fixing case that generated a furore at the commencement of February.

The players were accused of match-fixing and bribery in sports tournaments. They still await sentencing, but could be sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to six years, in addition to a fine, if found guilty.

One of the accused is Joseph Maurício de Oliveira Figueiredo of the Tombense soccer club. Local media outlet Globo reported that his attorney verified that the suspicions resulted in the cancellation of his contract with the club.

Figueiredo is alleged to have committed a penalty in the concluding day of Serie B competition, the second tier of Brazilian soccer, in 2022. He is reportedly responding to a demand from a rogue sports betting group, but has continuously maintained his blamelessness.

Additionally, Gabriel Domingos de Moura, Marcus Vinicius Albes Barreira, Ygor de Oliveira Ferreira and others have been mentioned in the scandal. In most of the cases, the players are purported to have been recompensed for committing penalties in the first half of the matches. The investigation is ongoing, and more players may be identified.

New Legislation In The Pipeline

The repercussions have been great enough that Arthur Lira, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, has approved a request to create a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, centred on potential match-fixing cases connected to sports betting.

This is expected to be a part of the regulatory arrangement of sports betting in Brazil, which is still in the development phase. Although expectations were that a provisional measure would be ready by the end of this month, the issue remains unresolved in the Brazilian legislation.

Brazil’s Minister of Sport, Ana Moser, is adding to the conversation. During a recent Senate meeting of the Committee on Education, Culture and Sports, she added that the legislation should address possible ways to combat racism in sports and the correct approach to sports betting.

Recently, the Finance and Taxation Committee of the Chamber approved a public hearing with the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, and representatives of bookmakers. The goal is to discuss the minister’s proposed sports betting tax rules.

That must take place before any legislation is implemented, but it is not on the agenda yet. Haddad is currently in China with President Luiz Lula da Silva exploring stronger relations with the country.

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