Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

Match-fixing to be a crime in New Zealand

Agence-France Presse | Wellington | Posted: May 6, 2014 12:47 am | Updated: May 6, 2014 5:52 pm

New Zealand said it will make match-fixing a specific crime for the first time to ensure sport remains corruption-free as the country prepares to co-host next year’s Cricket World Cup. Sports Minister Murray McCully said that in recent years some sporting codes had been targeted by international criminal syndicates “seeking to gain unfair advantage to illegally profit from sports betting”.

“These activities compromise athletes and tarnish sport,” he said, announcing the creation of a new crime of match-fixing, with a maximum penalty of seven years behind bars. McCully said that while some elements of match-fixing would have been covered by existing crimes such as fraud, they were not designed to deal specifically with sports.

He said the new crimes would give greater certainty to international sports bodies combating match-fixing, but stressed the move was preventative and there was no evidence of a problem in New Zealand. “(But) it would be naive to think that we are immune from these international risks,” he said “Therefore, it is important to take pre-emptive steps to safeguard our athletes and international sporting reputation.” A briefing note from Sport New Zealand said the reform was being introduced ahead of major sporting events scheduled for next year.

“We need to ensure criminal sanctions are available to address possible match-fixing ahead of our 2015 hosting of the Cricket World Cup and FIFA Under 20 (football) World Cup,” it said. “Internationally, both cricket and football are known for presenting a risk of match-fixing.”

McDermott’s new post 

MELBOURNE: The success of Australia’s pace barrage against England and South Africa over the southern summer has earned Craig McDermott an upgraded two-year contract which will make him an assistant coach to Darren Lehmann.

Cricket Australia announced Monday that McDermott would work with the test and limited-overs squads into 2016, with an initial focus on the 2015 World Cup.

Australia regained the top test ranking last week for the first time since 2009, with much of the success derived from the fearsome attack led by Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris under the guidance of McDermott.

CA’s team performance manager Pat Howard said McDermott, a fiery former Test fast bowler, “has built a really strong rapport with the bowling group … (and) it has proved to be a successful combination in recent times.’’

“I’m also looking forward to taking on more responsibility and to work closely with Darren Lehmann (head coach) to broaden my coaching skills and, alongside Michael Di Venuto (batting coach), to ensure we’re a well-oiled coaching unit,” said MCDermott.

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