Match-Fixing: FK Pobeda et al. v. UEFA (CAS 2009/A/1920)
The arbitral award issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 15 April 2010 in the case FK Pobeda—Prilep, Aleksandar Zabrcanec, Nikolce Zdraveski v/UEFA (hereinafter “the award or the award against Pobeda”) is a first in several respects, not only for UEFA but also for the CAS. With regard to the substance first of all, it is one of the very first procedures that has led to sanctions being imposed against a club and individuals in relation to the fixing of football matches. The subject of match-fixing has attracted a great deal of media attention since the revelations made by the Bochum public prosecutor’s office. However, the Pobeda case is totally unconnected to those revelations. It is the result of numerous investigative measures taken by the UEFA disciplinary bodies without the help, it should be stressed, of any state investigative or judicial authority. This arbitral award is also first from a procedural point of view, since the most important among numerous procedural questions that the arbitrators had to consider concerned whether or not they should accept UEFA’s request that the identity of certain witnesses should be withheld and that they should therefore be examined by the CAS without their identity being made known to the appellants. Finally, this award represents a first in terms of its outcome, since it is the first time a club and its president have been sanctioned for match-fixing in a European competition.