Maltese football is corrupt, match results are pre-determined and league winners known ahead of time, PN MP David Agius has claimed.
“Here in Malta, people know who is going to win before the game is even played, and it’s almost sure who will win the league this year,” the PN’s new sports shadow minister said on Tuesday.
He said the people making sports dirty are known.
“Is it possible we don’t know who is corrupt in sport? Malta is small, and I think those people are known,” he said.
Agius was speaking during a parliamentary debate on changes to the Sports Governance and Integrity Act. The changes will allow the formation of platforms and entities in the fight against sports corruption.
The Opposition backs the amendments, but Agius said more needs to be done to tackle corruption.
“What are we really doing to catch those who are corrupt in sport?” Agius asked, adding that action against corruption in sports was rare.
Without providing evidence or naming names, Agius said results in football and other sports were fixed, with perpetrators then wagering large amounts on the outcome.
Bets going into “many thousands of euros,” were placed, with bets often including predictions on the outcome of other sports matches fixed overseas, he said.
“How can it be that a goalkeeper is asked to let in four goals in return for a bag full of cash, and after he refuses, the reserve goalkeeper plays instead and lets four goals in any way,” the sports shadow minister said.
“In this country, no one does anything,” he said.
He said new legal structures are welcome, but they alone will only remove corruption in sports if drastic action is taken.
The Malta Football Association seeks to keep a lid on corruption through its Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Task Force, established in 2015.