German player banned for being willing to fix matches

BERLIN - A German player formerly with Bundesliga second division club VfL Osnabrueck has been banned for two years and nine months for appearing willing to help fix matches, the German football federation (DFB) said on Monday.

Marcel Schuon, 25, had been prepared to help influence the result of four second division matches against his then club VfL Osnabrueck in 2008 and 2009, working together with a betting bureau owner, the DFB said.

"The DFB and the sports court consider it proven that Schuon had presented himself to the betting bureau owner as being prepared to influence the results," the DFB said in a statement.

The federation said it was not proven that Schuon had actually influenced results on the pitch although he had 25,000 euros of betting debt written off after one of the four games in question.

Late last year German police dismantled a gang with more than 200 suspected members operating in nine European leagues. They were suspected of having paid off referees, players and officials to win at least 10 million euros, with officials speculating this to be the tip of the iceberg.

Of at least 200 matches across Europe, including three in the Champions League, 32 in Germany came under investigation. Four games involved clubs in the second division and three in the third, with the remainder in lower leagues and under-19 matches.

"The beginning of the ban was set for December 1 when Schuon was excluded from the SV Sandhausen squad," the DFB said in a statement. Schuon signed for Sandhausen after leaving Osnabrueck.

"Schuon is fully aware of the considerable damage he has caused football with his behaviour," said the DFB, adding the player had in part collaborated in the matchfixing investigation.

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