Top Footballer Admits to Match-Fixing
Ex-Levadia footballer Aleksei Jahhimovitš said a few days after the Football Association banned him and two others, that he did participate in match-fixing.
“Two, three years ago when he was young and foolish he scrummed to the influence of certain people,” Levadia's sports director Theimo Tülp told ERR on Wednesday, adding that Jahhimovitš is very sorry for the decision and will do all he can to help the investigation.
A number of other Levadia players were also approached, but rejected the offer.
Jahhimovitš, who has played for the national team at youth levels, and Maksim Poponov (of Sillamäe Kalev) received a ban from all football-related activities until the end of the year. Jaroslav Dmitriev (Tallinna Puuma, second division) was handed a lifetime ban.
Aivar Pohlak, the head of the association, said it began an investigation involving the three footballers after receiving information from another match-fixing case, which is currently in court and involves a number of former Narva Trans players. The figure being tossed around in that court case is a more than 100,000 euro payoff for the eight players, although the source of the money is currently unknown.
Both Jahhimovitš and Paponov have played 10 games for their respective clubs this season, which began two months ago. It is currently unclear which games were affected. Jahhimovitš won the Estonian league title last year with Levadia.
A case involving eight ex-Narva Trans professional footballers is currently in court. According to the charge, the men fixed Estonian top-division and Europa League games. The accused includes Maxim Gruznov, who holds the league's all-time top scorer title with over 300 goals.