Referee Andranik Arsenyan and assistant Hovhannes Avagyan, who oversaw a UEFA Europa League match last month between FC Inter Turku and Vikingur, have been suspended. UEFA took note of the decision of the Executive Committee of the Football Federation of Armenia (HFF) with regard to the referee and assistant referee who officiated at the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round match between FC Inter Turku and Vikingur on 11 July 2013.
In a hearing at the HFF, referee Andranik Arsenyan and assistant referee Hovhannes Avagyan admitted having tried to manipulate the outcome of the second-leg game, which ended 1-0 in favour of Vikingur. The UEFA betting fraud detection system (BFDS) – which monitors over 32,000 matches across Europe, including all first-division and UEFA competition games – had detected suspicious betting patterns around this fixture, and this prompted the start of an investigation by UEFA to which the HFF contributed closely. UEFA is pleased with the excellent cooperation of the HFF, the local authorities and the betting operators during the investigation process. The chairman of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has decided to suspend with immediate effect, and for any football-related activities, both match officials. At the same time, a disciplinary proceeding has been opened in accordance with Article 12 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (integrity of matches and competitions, and match-fixing). The case will be dealt with by the Control and Disciplinary Body on Thursday 22 August at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland. According to reports, a wager of 300,000 was placed with Betfair indicating that both teams would score in the match, which initially triggered suspicions. Then, when the match actually started, two dubious penalty kicks were called by the referee, one after another, for each team. Despite the two penalties, hosts Inter Turku missed their penalty kick and the match ended 0-1 to Víkingur.