The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has confirmed that three Tunisian chair umpires have been banned from the sport after being found guilty of match fixing charges. Majd Affi, a green badge chair umpire, has been banned for 20 years after being found guilty of 12 charges relating to events between 2017 and 2020. Mohamed Ghassen Snene, also a green badge chair umpire, and Abderahim Gharsallah, a white badge chair umpire, have been banned for seven years each, after being found guilty of four charges relating to an event in Tunisia in 2020.
The charges related to the umpires manipulating scores inputted into their electronic scoring devices, which did not reflect the actual scores on court.
The cases were heard by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jane Mulcahy QC, and the sanctions mean the individuals will no longer be able to officiate at any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by any international tennis governing body or national association for the length of their bans.
The breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP) rules the individuals were found guilty of are:
Section D.1.b of the 2020 TACP: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to facilitate a person to wager shall include, but not be limited to: display of live tennis betting odds on a Covered Person’s website; repeated transmissions of the contemporaneous results of any aspect of any Event without the consent of any Governing Body (“Courtsiding”); writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website; conducting personal appearances for, or otherwise participating in any event run by, a tennis betting company or any other company or entity directly affiliated with a tennis betting company; promoting a tennis betting company to the general public through posts on social media; and appearing in commercial advertisements that encourage others to bet on tennis.”
Section D.1.d of the 2020 TACP: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive the outcome, or any other aspect, of any Event.”
In addition, Mr Affi was found guilty of:
Section D.2.c of the 2017 TACP: For the avoidance of doubt, (i) a failure of the Reporting Obligation by any Covered Person; and/or (ii) a failure of the duty to cooperate under Section F.2 shall constitute a Corruption Offense for all purposes of the Program
Section F.2.b of the 2017 TACP: All Covered Persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. No Covered Person shall tamper with or destroy any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.
The ITIA is an independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.
Notes to editors:
Mr Affi’s ban is backdated to the date of his provisional suspension and will run from 6 November 2020 until 5 November 2040.
Mr Snene’s ban is backdated to the date of his provisional suspension and will run from 6 November 2020 until 5 November 2027.
Mr Gharsallah’s ban is backdated to the date of his provisional suspension and will run from 6 November 2020 until 5 November 2027.
Published 08 July 2022 16:30
Popular reading from Sanctions this month