Rumori di Spogliatoio

Betting scandal: good news and more names surfacing

Angelo PalmeriComment

Probably the best piece of news of the day is that JK Tallinna Kalev, one of the most old Estonian football club with a past in the Soviet premier league, will continue competing in the Premium Liiga.

This is what we learn from Kalev´s president words, Mr Raimo Nõu, in a 8-minutes-long interview released to the web portal Delfi Sport Kalev will not ne quitting the competition thanks to the support of the Estonian football family.

Flora and Levadia have already confirmed that they are more than happy to loan some players to Kalev, whose squad had already been shrinked by a series of early departures: two from the Turkish-German contigent left (Koca to Turkey, Yapici back to Germany) and one Estonian player departed due to personal reasons which brought him to move to Tartu.
Reduced to 13 active players, coach Frank Bernhardt expressed his worries in being able to continue the season and deliver any kind of result.
Mr. Nõu also expressed his thankfulness to the Estonian FA (EJL) who actively coordinated this kind of ´rescue operation´ of one piece of the Estonian football heritage.

The support shown by other clubs will not only guarantee Kalev´s survival for this season (eventually it will be the pitch to tell us whether Kalev will be able to stay on this tier or not) but will also make sure that the competition in Premium Liiga will not be warped.

What could have been to a 10-clubs league if one of them would be withdrawn? We would be left with 9, meaning each club should have taken a weekly break twice until the end of the season.

In the rest of the interview Mr. Nõu confirmed what he anticipated yesterday to ´RdS´:  the sources are absolutely reliable.
He also added something he revealed us but we could not tell earlier: we are talking about two reliable sources, one for each of the two players involved, Liivamägi and Karu.

Regarding the latter it has surfaced, Nõu explained, that part of the bigger plan was also that Levadia would keep the clean sheet ( as you might remember, EJL president Aivar Pohlak declared that the ’1 with Asian handicap’ for Levadia was only part of a bigger manipulation )and considering that Sander Karu was supposed to be employed as forward (he is a defender) it is not hard to believe the plan could have been easily accomplished.

 

Karu has also been protagonist of an interview released to the popular football web portal (Soccernet.ee). The tone of the interview (which was released via internet, presumably via e-mail, at the same time while Karu was away from Estonia, in Russia as revealed yesterday to RdS) is basically the same: he claims himself innocent and not involved into this attempt of manipulation.

Few months ago we described the Estonian football World in the internet as such:

If TV´s are quite silent on football (just some quick highlights on main tv channels, short columns on main papers and that´s it) the internet is bustling like an Italian ´Bar dello Sport´  – the average Italian coffee bar where people go to drink espresso, meet friends and argue about football, Italian nr.2 sport after football itself.

If you think nothing happens in Premium Liiga, you´re assuming wrong. It´s just running in the ´e-underbrush´.

Knowing a bit of Estonian language and having some spare minutes to browse the corresponding forum on the top Estonian league in Soccernet.ee, you´ll come across many and many pages spent on discussing any kind of topic regarding the fight for the title, the number of attendance at games and also some controversial episodes which usually would make eyebrows rise on TV and press media in larger football countries.

Obviously, during these hard days for the Estonian game, the betting scandal topic is the hottest being talked about.

While browsing pages and reading discussions we found this interesting post .

First of all should be said that we tried to reach this person and get confirmation of his story, however so far we didn´t receive any feedback.
Somehow RdS got confirmation of this story as very likely from another source.

The story refers to a Premium Liiga game back in 2012 : Viljandi vs- Nõmme Kalju

The game, as you can see from the linked document, was quite balanced in the first half, however the final result was a 1-9 for the future Champions of Estonia 2012.

What happened in the second half?

According to this reconstruction, this is what happened (we translate and quote):

‘'At the start of the game the brothers Siska (Indrek and Andres, two known Estonian internationals for beach football and futsal) reached the stadium in Viljandi ( ndr the brothers Siska are also known for dealing with betting )

At that moment the impression among us, Kalju fans, was that they might have made some suspicious bettings, therefore we did expect that Viljandi team would have let in at least four goals.
For those who might not know, the Siska brothers deal especially with lower leagues betting, and we never saw them at a Kalju´s away game. Another suspicious thing was that the game took place on a Tuesday at 16:45, and unless you have some kind of interest in this game, you don´t travel from Tallinn to Viljandi to watch it ( ndr the distance between the two cities is about 2 hours and a half circa ). Since the beginning the home team played badly, with defenders not being able to clear the ball away from their box.  What happened in the second half was even more suspicious. When Sander Karu was subbed ( ndr according to the game official document this happened at game resume, so the sub was made during the interval ) he headed towards the stadium stand and joined the company of the Siska brothers. In that game Kalju had already wasted many goal chances and many other were wasted during the second half. The twins were visibly disturbed by the fact that either Kalju was unable to push the ball into the net ( ndr the game result was still 1-2 until 60´ when Eino Puri scored the 1-3 ) or that Viljandi were unable to let it in easily. During that moment Sander Karu didn´t show any kind of emotion. The more Kalju was unable to score, the more the two brothers were getting nervous.
When eventually the score reached 5-1 for Kalju, everything changed: both the two brothers and Sander Karu appeared visibly happy.
However, as soon as Neemelo started to work on becoming the game´s topscorer ( ndr he scored 5 goals in that game starting with the 6-1 goal ) their behaviour changed. I cannot say whether it was disappointment because the manipulation didn´t take place, however it all looked very suspicious as I could see the same anger and disappointment in the brothers faces. After the 6-1, the Siska brothers left the stadium and Sander Karu headed back into the stadium main building.''

In the Soccernet.ee interview, Sander Karu is being asked whether he is connected or not with the two brothers according to this recount. He very confidently replies that in a forum anyone could keenly write whatever he wants behind anonimity and without any evidence of it.

However here is a picture showing what this witness has been recounting, Sander Karu along with the Siska brothers (you can recognize Karu by the blue training suite carrying Viljandi club colours - click to enlarge):

This is quite telling about a previous involvement of Sander Karu into a suspicious behaviour with other two individuals known for being very active in the betting world.

Addtionally, we know he is lying when he implies to Soccernet.ee that he has no relation with the two by making it appear like an internet banter.

The person who wrote this story he witnessed that day in Viljandi, he has come back to us confirming what is written there:

‘This was the game ( ndr he refers to the game document we pulled out for him ). Sander Karu was subbed off at the end of first half, so he joined the Siska brothers on the stands. Siska brothers to my knowledge bet on Estonian lower league games. Their reactions indicated they had certain bets on the games. Most disturbing fact is that Siska brothers were annoyed until the 7-1 goal and then they calmed down. But after 8-1 they were disapointed and mad, all of them including Karu. For me it’s seems odd for him to be mad after 8-1, as 5-1 is as devastating as 8-1.’

According to another source of ours, which confirms an impression we had later last night on the manipulation scheme, it looks like there is some kind of pyramid here, at least its Estonian basis looks quite clear: brothers Siska -> Sander Karu -> Elvis Liivamägi, with the latter having been involved by his team mate into taking part in what the twins were offering, money for manipulating the game score.