The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has announced that it has uncovered evidence relating to an attempt to fix a match in its top-tier Eredivisie domestic club competition.
In a statement, the sport’s national governing body said the attempt took place in August 2009 and involved Sierra Leone international Ibrahim Kargbo, who at the time played for Eredivisie outfit Willem II Tilburg.
Kargbo worked with Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who has been convicted of fraud on a number of occasions and has also been prosecuted and jailed in other countries due to match-fixing activities, to fix a match between Willem II and FC Utrecht.
The KNVB said it had found a series of emails between the two individuals that revealed that Kargbo had promised two other Willem II players, including then-captain Michael Aerts, €25,000 ($27,880) each if their team lost by more than one goal.
However, Utrecht won the match 1-0 at home on August 9, 2009, and Perumal refused to pay out.
Gijs de Jong, operational director at the KNVB, said “Dutch football is one of the last in Europe to lose its innocence in this matter.
“We have long warned this could happen in the Dutch league but it is still difficult to swallow now that this has been established.
“Hopefully it will add urgency in the Netherlands to the fight against this plague.”
De Jong also said that there is “not enough legal evidence to determine whether Aerts was involved and it is unclear who the third person was”.
In addition to the Willem II v Utrecht game, the KNVB said a benefit match between Willem II and the Sierra Leone national team was organised with the objective of manipulating the result for the benefit of an Asian betting syndicate.
The KNVB also suggested that other Sierra Leone games that featured Kargbo, who was national team captain, may have been fixed.
Kargbo will no longer be able to participate in any capacity in Dutch football, with the Reuters news agency reporting that the 33-year-old has already been suspended in Sierra Leone for alleged match-fixing.