New Phase Reached in Brazil’s Match-Fixing Investigation, Maximum Penalty Looming

The Public Ministry of Goiás (MP-GO) in Brazil has launched the third phase of Operation Maximum Penalty, aimed at combating match-fixing in soccer. As part of the investigation into seven matches, search and seizure warrants were executed in eight cities across five states on Tuesday.

The Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime (Gaeco) led the operation, with support from various government agencies. Among these are the Institutional Security and Intelligence Coordination (CSI), the Military Police of Goiás, the Cyber ​​Gaeco of the Public Ministry of São Paulo, and the Gaecos of the States of Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraíba, and Rio de Janeiro, according to the MP-GO.

One of the key focuses of the operation was a game in the 2022 Brazilian Championship between Flamengo and Avaí. Avaí emerged victorious with a 2-1 win, raising concerns about the legitimacy of their victory.

In this latest phase of Operation Maximum Penalty, ten search and seizure warrants were executed in various cities. The investigation includes matches from the 2022 Brazilian Championship’s Series B league, as well as games that took place this year, involving Goiânia, Aparecidense, Goiás, and other teams. The specific details of the investigation and the players allegedly implicated in the scheme have not been disclosed by the Public Ministry.

Previous investigations into match-fixing have resulted in various penalties for players, including fines and permanent bans from the sport. In light of this, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the Federal Police (PF) have joined forces to combat match-fixing in soccer. The CBF president, Ednaldo Rodrigues, announced that the PF will now receive copies of all reports on suspicious cases detected by Sportradar’s game analysis technology.

The partnership between the CBF and Sportradar has been pivotal in monitoring over 3,000 CBF-sanctioned matches annually. This collaboration has now been extended to include the sharing of information with the PF to address instances of match-fixing and corruption in Brazilian soccer.

Overall, the joint efforts of the MP-GO, CBF, and PF demonstrate a strong commitment to rooted out criminal organizations involved in match-fixing. The aim is to ensure the integrity and transparency of soccer competitions in Brazil.