RIGA - The Latvian Football Federation announced that it would keep the names of those involved in alleged match-fixing attempts confidential if they promised to stop their illegal activity, the Baltic News Service reported. Federation president Guntis Indriksons said if the accused individuals ignored this warning, they would face criminal charges.
However, on Dec. 7 the daily Diena reported that referee Romans Lajuks was suspected of match-rigging. The popular referee could be suspended as a result. One more name was made public - referee commitee chairman Vitalijs Liholajs.
Indriksons, confident that the results of several games in last summer's Latvian football championship were rigged, said he could back these conclusions with concrete information, but lacked the evidence necessary to level criminal charges.
"I know the people, schemes and approximate sums, but I have no evidence to put them in the dock," Indriksons told the Baltic News Service. "If these men with football links stop doing this, there will be no reason to divulge their names. If it does not happen, they will be exposed."
On Dec. 1, Diena reported that a group of some six people had tried to rig the results of football matches held in Latvia. As a result, sports gamblers reaped the benefits.
"The group was comprised of people from all parties involved 's referees, players, club executives," said Indriksons, whose announcement shocked fellow football club presidents.
The federation president announced the news during an LFF national championship organizing committee meeting on Nov. 30.
"I won't give any names because investigation is under way. It is our duty to make sure that those guilty are called to responsibility," Indriksons said directly after the conference.
"I know there had been attempts to bribe a club, offering a five-digit amount. The club refused to make a deal but the match ended with the result preferred by the corruptors anyway," he added.
The LFF has been gathering evidence about the match-fixing scheme since May.