A German referee has admitted to fixing games and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to clear up the sport’s biggest scandal in the country in more than 30 years.
“The accusations made against me in the public are true,” referee Robert Hoyzer said in a statement issued by his lawyer.
“I regret my behavior profoundly and I excuse myself to the German soccer federation, my referee colleagues and all soccer fans,” the statement said.
The German football federation (DFB) accused Hoyzer of FIXING the outcomes of at least five games in Germany’s lower divisions and the German Cup after betting on them.
Hoyzer initially denied the charges.
“We are shocked; we never thought something like this was possible,” said Volker Roth, the federation’s supervisor of referees. “But there is nothing you can do against criminal energy.”
Rudi Assauer, general manager of first-division club Schalke, said, “This case is exactly what should not be happening one year before the World Cup.”
The DFB plans to ban betting on games by referees and will install an “early warning system” to mmonitor unusual betting patterns.
The German magazine Stern allleged that Hoyzer had regular contact with organized criminals from Croatia involved in betting. The DFB said it had also heard of such reports but had no means of confirming them.
On Wednesday, the DFB filed charges against Hoyzer with Berlin prosecutors, who are examining the case.
Questions about Hoyzer first arose in August in a German Cup game when third-division Paderborn came from a two goals down to beat first-division Hamburger SV 4-2 after Hoyzer awarded two penalties to Paderborn and sent off a Hamburg player.
After an initial investigation, Hoyzer was cleared due a lack of evidence, but the DFB reopened its investigation after four referees alerted them about the possibility of matches being fixed.