Austrian player arrested for match-fixing attempt
VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian footballer who claimed to have been blackmailed by former international Sanel Kuljic has been arrested for alleged attempts to fix first division matches, state prosecutors in Salzburg said Thursday.
Dominique Taboga was arrested Wednesday, two weeks after admitting he tried to persuade four teammates at Groedig to manipulate games last season, prosecutors’ spokesman Marcus Neher said.
Taboga is also under suspicion of stealing 5,000 euros ($6,700) from team funds, Neher said.
According to Groedig director Christian Haas, Taboga’s fixing attempts failed and no match involving the club has been manipulated.
Groedig and Taboga parted ways by mutual consent after the defender’s confession, which came a day after the 31-year-old player told state prosecutors that Kuljic had talked him into fixing matches to settle a personal debt.
Taboga filed charges, claiming he was forced to pay Kuljic nearly 30,000 euros ($40,200) and was threatened by the former Austria international after refusing to prevent Groedig from winning matches.
Kuljic was arrested in a parking lot in Anif near Salzburg on Nov. 12 while waiting for Taboga, expecting the player to hand over 3,000 euros ($4,020). Taboga had warned the police the evening before.
Prosecutors said Kuljic has denied the alleged attempt at match-fixing, adding that Taboga owed him money from the time they both played at Kapfenberg in the first half of 2012. Prosecutors were investigating the cause and extent of Taboga’s debt.
The 36-year-old Kuljic retired last year after tearing ligaments. He scored three goals in 20 games for the national team from 2005-2007.