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French player convicted of match fixing
12th February, 19:01Cannes (France) (AFP) - A former player in the French lower divisions was found guilty on Wednesday of match-fixing while the case of team-mate, who has moved to Hollywood, was adjourned.
Matar Fall, a defender, was fined 10,000 euros and banned for contributing to a loss by his team, Frejus-Saint-Raphael, in a French third-division match to gamblers who have still not been identified.
A Paris court also gave Fall, 37, a one-year suspended prison sentence, and a five-year ban from sport for "passive corruption with a view to altering the outcome of sports betting" and "criminal association".
On May 9, 2014, Frejus lost 4-1 to already-relegated Colomiers in the National division.
The second accused player, goalkeeper Dominique Jean-Zephirin, conceded four goals in the first 21 minutes, one an own goal by Fall, the captain.
Sportradar, a technology company that tracks on-line betting, noted both abnormal odds and a volume of bets from Asia, 20 times higher than the average.
The club fired both players.
Fall was also suspended by the French Football Federation while his lawyer has called Jean-Zephirin "the instigator."
Former Haiti international goalkeeper Jean-Zephirin has relocated to Los Angeles and appeared as a fringe character in US reality shows and dated, or been romantically linked with, reality show stars.
A week before the Colomiers game, Sportradar also detected abnormal betting from Asia before Frejus met Dunkirk. The game ended 0-0.
A police investigation established that the two had approached team-mates "in concert" to ask them to lose against Dunkirk in return for money.
After that match ended in a draw they tried again for the next game and were prosecuted for "fixing the match" against Colomiers.
Both men have denied deliberately playing badly against Colomiers.
During the investigation, each accused the other of being the contact with the bettors and of deciding to talk to the other players.
According to Sportradar, Jean-Zephirin is known to have been in contact with two known Singaporean match riggers.
The court accepted a request for delay by his new lawyer. He will be tried on April 29.