Three former players at center of Austrian match-fixing investigation


Reports out of Austria have indicated that three former players in the Austrian Bundesliga have been charged in a relatively large match-fixing investigation.

Sanel Kuljic, Dominique Taboga and Johannes Lamprecht reportedly banded together and offered players anywhere between $10,000 and $55,000 to influence matches, and placed subsequent bets of up to $415,000 on the fixed matches.

The case was first brought public in November, when it was revealed that 17 first-division matches were influenced, all involving the clubs Kapfenberg or Groedig, two of which are from early this season.

31-year-old Taboga has since admitted he tried to persuade four teammates at Groedig to throw matches, and has since received a lifetime ban.

However, he has brought charges against Kuljic (pictured, from 2010), saying the 36-year-old used a personal debt to force him and Lamprecht into the fixing ring, and claimed Kuljic threatened the two after they refused to fix matches.

The claims state Kuljic threatened the pair until they were forced to hand over items such as laptops and cars in lieu of money.

Kuljic claims he was trying to collect on a loan he gave his former teammate to buy furniture.

However, investigators say they have a list of 26 names, including the trio, obtained from two unnamed Albanian men who apparently arranged the fixing.  Seven other “unnamed persons” have been charged, and prosecutors say they could add up to 15 more to the list in the near future.

The fixing allegedly began in 2004.  Kuljic retired back in 2012 due to ligament tears after registering three goals for the Bosnia-Herzegovnian national team, while Taboga was playing for Grodig during his arrest in November.  Lamprecht has not played since the 2008/09 season.