Last updated: 9 January, 2012

Israel Football Association boss questioned in match-fixing probe

Fraud squad detectives have questioned Israel Football Association chief Avi Luzon on suspicion of match-fixing, police told AFP on Monday.

Luzon was grilled for eight hours on Sunday, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. He was previously questioned in June as part of a broader police investigation into suspected rigging of Israeli premier league games.

“Avi Luzon is believed to have interfered with the results of games and to have influenced the appointment of referees, which could earn him charges of fraud and breach of trust,” Rosenfeld said.

Luzon, who denies any wrongdoing and says he has no say in choosing referees, was released on bail but barred from leaving the country.

“Avi Luzon could be interviewed again in the coming days for the purposes of the investigation,” Rosenfeld said, without elaborating.

Israeli media said that other FA officials, players, coaches and referees had been interviewed recently as part of the investigation into match-fixing.

The Haaretz newspaper said the suspicions which emerged in June centred on the owners of league side Hapoel Petah Tikvah, as well as FA officials and organised crime bosses.

In 2006, three players from second division Hapoel Beersheva admitted throwing a match, saying that mobsters had paid them bribes and threatened their lives and those of their families if they did not cooperate.