The shadow of match fixing falls once again on the Challenger Tourt. The news that shook the world of tennis concerns an Italian umpire: Lorenzo Chiurazzi. The chair umpire in question was accused of fixing several matches at the Perugia Challenger in 2021.
According to research carried out by the International Tennis Integrity Agency, Chiurazzi would have delayed the insertion of the match score into the electronic device on more than one occasion to favor bettors' bets. The Italian referee will not be able to direct any tennis match for seven years and six months and, considering that he has chosen not to collaborate in the investigation and not to report the incident during the tournament, he will also have to pay a fine of 50 thousand dollars.
Italian referee banned for more than 7 years
Last May, the ITF circuit entered the eye of the storm precisely for the practice of match fixing. In the specific case, six Spanish tennis players were sentenced. They are Marc Fornell Mestres, Jorge Marse Vidri, Carlos Ortega, Jaime Ortega, Marcos Torralbo and Pedro Bernabe Franco.
Everyone has admitted their faults. The most severe penalties hit Mestres, Vidri and Ortega. The former received a 22-year ban and a $ 250,000 fine; the second and third will not be able to play for 15 years and will have to pay $ 150,000.
None of the aforementioned tennis players will be allowed to play or participate in any tennis event authorized by any international tennis governing body. Jonny Gray, CEO of ITIA, said: "This is one of the most significant organized crime infiltrations into tennis that we have seen.
We welcome the involvement of law enforcement and the prosecution of entire criminal networks, not just the players. This ruling sends a strong message that match fixing is a crime that can lead to criminal convictions." Match fixing is a plague that unfortunately still plagues the whole world of sport, and the Game also, despite everything, is not yet immune from it.
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