Footballer Banned Indefinitely for Bribes ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR Sport

FC Tallinn Kalev defender Elvis Liivamägi has been handed a indefinite ban on all official football activities by the Football Association, for bribing teammates to throw a match against FC Levadia, a charge the defender strongly denies.

Correction: A previous story misstated the last name of the football player as Liivamäe.

 Liivamägi met representatives of the association on Tuesday, after which the ban was decided

The president of the association, Aivar Pohlak, said the defender admitted to not reporting previous attempts by others to offer bribes, but said he had no hand in the Tallinn Kalev versus Levadia league game, which was canceled 30 minutes before kickoff on July 6, after the association received a tip.

Liivamägi said he offered his version of events and handed over signed testimony from teammates confirming he did not offer bribes. He said the decision is absurd and that he will appeal.

Pohlak said the verdict was reached after five witnesses came forward, adding that indirect proof also points to the player's guilt.  

The association may end his ban in the future, Pohlak said, if they are convinced that the player has reformed and will not repeat the crime.

A second Tallinn Kalev defender, Sander Karu, who is also accused of similar wrongdoing, will face the association when he returns from abroad.

Not a lone case

In March, the association handed seven former Narva Trans footballers, including the league's all-time top-scorer Maksim Gruznov, a temporary one-year-ban. Deniss Jõgiste, a former U21 Estonian national team player also received a similar sentence.

All eight players were accused of fixing matches, and the Prosecutor's Office opened a investigation into the affair in 2011.

A number of other Narva Trans players have received bans over the last few years, but, like Tallinn Kalev, the club itself was not found guilty.

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