Robert Hoyzer, the referee at the centre of a match-fixing trial in Germany, told a court on Tuesday that his five co-defendants had played their part in the €2m scam.
Hoyzer spoke of part played by ringleader Ante Sapina, his contact with Sapina’s two brothers and his efforts to recruit fellow referee Dominik Marks.
Hoyzer, Marks and former first division player Steffen Karl are charged with organised fraud for attempting to fix matches last year in return for payments from Sapina and his brothers Filip and Milan.
The former referee is accused of trying to fix nine matches and has already been banned for life by the German football association (DFB).
Hoyzer also said Ante had referred to players, including Karl, who were prepared to fix matches.
Hoyzer said he had approached fellow official Marks at a referees’ training camp in southern Germany and the latter had not ruled out the possibility of fixing matches. Marks has denied any involvement.
In the most notorious fix, Hoyzer helped regional league side Paderborn come from 2-0 down to record a shock 4-2 victory over first division Hamburg by awarding two penalties and sending off Hamburg striker Emile Mpenza.
The disgraced referee claimed he was aided in his attempt to fix the game by Thijs Waterink, the captain of Paderborn.
After the match, Ante rang Hoyzer.
“He was incredibly happy… He called me his darling, the best,” Hoyzer said.
Ante, who admitted the charges against him are essentially true, has said that the idea for the match-fixing originated with Hoyzer, but the former referee has denied this.