By Farrokh Hesabi

Iran handball rocked by match-fixing claims

February 8, 2021 - 18:23

TEHRAN - Iran’s Handball Premier League has been hit with reports of match-fixing in the last weeks.

Several Iranian media reported that the match between Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan and Farazbam Dehdasht Khaiez in the last day of premiere league’s Group B, raised strong suspicious that the game might be fixed.

Foolad Mobarakeh had already qualified for the next round as the second team of the group, while Farazbam needed at least one point to make it to the next round.

The match ended with a 24-24 draw on Jan. 7 and Farazbam qualified as the third team.

However, Zoghal Sang Tabas club, another team that had a chance to advance to the next stage but failed as they stand fourth, immediately filed a complaint to the Iranian Handball Federation regarding alleged match-fixing at the match between Foolad and Farazbam.

Suspicious scenes in the mentioned match have been published in social media and Iranian press, which show that some players move away from each other in a strange way during the game to let the ball go into the goal and some other intentionally throw the ball out!

The Disciplinary Committee of the handball federation examined the match and subsequently passed its judgment on all disciplinary matters relating to the match-fixing.

The federation suspended two players of Farazbam team for six months and one player of Foolad Mobarakeh for three months. In a strange decision, the federation also announced that instead of three teams, four teams from each group will advance to next round, and Zoghal Sang qualified for the next stage as a result of the decision.

However, President of Iran Handball Federation Alireza Pakdel did not confirmed match-fixing at the mentioned match and considered it as ‘negative cooperation’ between some players which is nonsense.

“Zoghal Sang team expressed some issues about the match, and the handball federation and even the Ministry of Sports' officials investigated the case. There were some negative cooperations between some players that had some bad effects on the match. However, we don’t consider it as an organized and scheduled match-fixing,” Pakdel said in an interview with Tehran Times.

“The priority in handball, and sports in general, is to observe fair play issues. In our handball community, there are a lot of honest athletes and coaches who are not deserved to be questioned by such unethical rumors. There is no match-fixing in the Iranian handball,’ he added.

Leave a Comment

5 + 0 =