Friday, December 26, 2008

Another arrest in Poland’s football corruption scandal

Member of the Board of the Polish Football Association (PZPN) Henryk K., dubbed the “Prince of the North”, was arrested in Gdansk, northern Poland, Thursday.

Mafia involvement
He is suspected of taking bribes and fixing matches in the Polish football league. Henryk K. is to hear charges, Friday. He was incriminated by the testimony of Ryszard F., aka “Fryzjer” [Barber], part of what police believe to be mafia involvement in widespread corruption thorough out many levels of the game. The former head of the Polish football mafia has admitted that he gave an envelope full of money to Henryk K. for fixing the result of a game. “I am surprised. Only yesterday we had a Christmas meeting in the Association, and today I’ve learned that a member of the Board was arrested,” said the new head of PZPN Grzegorz Lato after the arrest. “Let the prosecutors do their job, we will do ours,” he added.

Corruption trial
The investigation on corruption in Polish football has been underway since May 2005. So far the public prosecutor’s office has leveled charges against some 170 people: sports activists, referees, PZPN observers and two members of the Board of the Association: Wit Z. and Kazimierz F. The first corruption trail started in a court in Wroclaw, western Poland last December. In the dock were 17 people, among others Ryszard F., who is an alleged organiser of match fixing.