Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ex-Celt’s match-fixing fine

Convicted ... Dariusz Wdowczyk
FORMER Celtic hero Dariusz Wdowczyk has narrowly dodged jail - after he was convicted of MATCH-FIXING charges.

The 47-year-old was instead hit with a £21,000 fine for bribing referees and footballers in his native Poland.

Wdowczyk only avoided prison after co-operating with the investigation into the huge soccer scandal - which has already seen 200 people sentenced.

A court heard Wdowczyk and his assistant Andrzej Wozniak had set up an elaborate system of bribery while in charge of third division Korona Kielce.

They had even managed to influence officials in the Polish Football Federation. And it is believed the pair set up more than 20 matches during the 2003/2004 season.

Wdowczyk - who played for the Hoops from 1989 to 1994 - was detained in 2008 following the major probe into corruption in Polish football.

The judge in Kielce said: "Sport's fair-play rules have become such an important social issue that they have to be protected by the law."

Wdowczyk - also director of football at Livingston in 2007 - was sentenced to three years, suspended for five years for good behaviour.

He was also banned from football for three years.

It is understood he has the right to appeal - but is not planning to do so.