Eight Indonesian basketball players and one official banned for life over match fixing
Reportedly, the players cheated to help their cash-strapped squad pay salaries.
The Indonesia Basketball League (IBL) imposed a lifetime ban on eight players and one official after a match fixing scandal.
The basketballers, members of Siliwangi Bandung, one of the 12 teams in the IBL, are: Ferdinand Damanik, Tri Wilopo, Gian Gumilar, Haritsa Herlusdityo, Untung Gendro Maryono, Fredy, Vinton Nolan Sarawi, Robert Riza Raharjo, and team official Zulhilmi Faturrohman.
According to ChannelNewsAsia, the players were not receiving their full pay, reason for which they decided to cheat, so gamblers could bet on the outcome of the games and the team could retrieve a cut of the proceeds.
IBL director, Hasan Gozali, released a statement on the League’s website, describing the players’ acting as ‘intolerable’.
'These penalties should be granted because they are acting intolerable,' said Hasan. Sportivity is the most important part of the sport, including basketball, and IBL will always keep this principle.'
According to the statement, with heavy penalties like the ones imposed on the nine members of Siliwangi, similar things will no longer happen in the next season.
'Anyone proven to be in violation will be punished including foreign players, referees to club owners', added Hasan.
The players suspension goes in accordance with the rules of the IBL.
'If there is any IBL club personnel proven to do game fixing (setting the score), then the iBL club personnel will be imposed a minimum sanction of Rp 100,000,000 (one hundred million rupiah) and may not participate in all activities of PT BBI for life. “reads the fourth chapter of the rules of implementation of the IBL.
Danny Kosashi, chairman of the Indonesian Basketball Federation, which also suspended the players, but for a period between two and five years, said that the cheating was discovered through recordings of conversations.
“Someone gave us recordings of conversations about the match-fixing plan. We confronted the players and they confessed,” Kosasih said.
Former team owner, Dennis Depriadi, spoke to AFP about the incident.
“Our cash flow was in trouble because several payments [from sponsors] were not made on schedule,” he told AFP.
Siliwangi Bandung achieved only four victories from 14 games in their last season, becoming one of the worst-performing teams of the IBL.