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Wednesday October 5, 2005

Brazilian clubs split over match-fixing decision

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's first division clubs are split on the decision to annul the results of all 11 games refereed by Edilson Pereira de Carvalho, who has admitted taking money to influence results. 

Internacional, knocked off the top of the table by Corinthians after Sunday's decision by a Brazilian sporting tribunal to replay the 11 championship matches refereed by Carvalho, said they may appeal. 

“Internacional are going to fight for their rights,” the club said on their official website. 

“The legal department are studying an appeal.” 

Figueirense, whose 4-1 win over Juventude will be replayed even though Carvalho said he tried to make the result go the other way, could also appeal. 

But other clubs said the ruling was fair. 

“It was an unfortunate situation and needed a quick decision,” said Sao Paulo president Marcelo Portugal Gouvea.  

“At least the championship will not be paralysed.” 

Paysandu president Arthur Tourinho said: “It wouldn't have made sense to annul one or two games and leave the other suspicious ones alone.” 

Internacional, whose 3-2 victory over Coritiba was among the 11 games annulled, lost three points as a result and dropped below Corinthians and Goias. 

Cruzeiro, whose 4-1 win over Botafogo and 2-1 triumph in Paysandu were refereed by Carvalho, lost six points. 

Corinthians, who lost 4-2 to Santos and 3-2 to Sao Paulo, won back six points as a result of the tribunal's decision. 

Carvalho took charge of Figueirense's 2-1 defeat by Vasco da Gama and their 4-1 win over Juventude. 

Figueirense president Norton Doppre said: “We are losing out on various fronts and we understand there is still time for a change.” 

Carvalho said in a television interview on Sunday that he had agreed to receive 10,000 real (US$4,400) from an illegal gambling ring to help Juventude win but Edmundo's three goals helped wreck the plan. 

The 43-year-old Carvalho, an international referee, was suspended on Sept 24 along with Paulo Jose Danelon following a report in the weekly news magazine Veja. 

Carvalho spent five days in police custody and the two referees face charges of fraud, conspiracy and crimes against the economy. 

“I was corrupted,” said Carvalho during Sunday's interview, adding that he took part because he was in debt.  

“I was seduced and I was wrong.” 

Four of the 11 games have been rescheduled for Oct 12 and another four for Oct 19. The dates for the remaining three have yet to be decided. 

The tribunal said the public would be allowed in free for each replayed game. – Reuters 


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