Three tennis umpires face lengthy bans over match-fixing charges

Three tennis umpires have been banned from the sport until at least 2027 after being found guilty of match fixing.

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Majd Affi, Mohamed Ghassen Snene and Abderahim Gharsallah have each received a lengthy embargo for manipulating scores, said the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).

Each was found guilty of breaching the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP), specifically sections D.1.b and D.1.d.

Section D.1.b states any “covered person” shall not “directly or indirectly, facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any event or any other tennis competition.”

Section D.1.d, meanwhile, states: “No covered person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive the outcome, or any other aspect, of any event.”

For breaching these rules, the Tunisian trio will not be able to officiate at any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by a national or international body for the duration of their bans.

Affi, a green badge chair umpire, was further found guilty of breaching sections D.2.c and F.2.b. These concern his failure to fulfil a reporting obligation and cooperate.

Section F.2.b states: “All covered persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the Tennis Integrity Unit including giving evidence at hearings, if requested.”

Furthermore, Affi’s charges relate to multiple events between 2017 and 2020, while those facing Snene and Gharsallah relate to one event in Tunisia in 2020.

This likely explains why Affi faces the longest ban of the three. He is prohibited from acting as an umpire for 20 years. Snene and Gharsallah, meanwhile, are facing shorter seven-year bans.

Each is backdated to the start of their provisional suspension on 6 November 2020.

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