Hoyzer admits match-fixing
German referee Robert Hoyzer admitted on Thursday that he had fixed matches and offered to co-operate with the investigation into the country's biggest football scandal in over 30 years.
"The allegations against me which have been raised in public are in essence true," the 25-year-old Hoyzer said in a statement released by his lawyers.
"I deeply regret my behaviour and apologise to the German Football Association (DFB), my refereeing colleagues and all football fans."
Germany's football community reacted to the confession with disgust, while Berlin prosecutors said they had received a complaint highlighting a suspected link with Croatian gamblers.
Volker Roth, head of the referees committee of both the DFB and UEFA, was visibly shaken at a news conference in Frankfurt and said steps had to be taken to prevent a repeat of the affair.
"As a former head German and European referee, I shouldn't let myself be thrown out of kilter, but this business really does upset me," Roth said. "It's unforgivable."
Rudi Assauer, commercial manager of Bundesliga club Schalke 04, described Hoyzer's action as "a slap in the face for German football".
News of the scandal broke on Saturday evening when the DFB announced that Hoyzer was under suspicion of rigging Hamburg SV's Cup defeat by Paderborn SC in August last year after betting on the result.
Hamburg took a 2-0 lead but went on to lose 4-2 after Hoyzer sent off striker Emile Mpenza in the first half for insulting him and awarded two penalties to the regional league side.
The DFB has since widened its investigation to look at Hoyzer's involvement in five more second division and regional league matches, four of which he refereed himself. Hoyzer did not referee any first division games.
Earlier this week Hoyzer denied having bet on any matches that he had refereed, while his lawyer strongly criticised the DFB's handling of the case and said his client had been pressured into signing a resignation letter.
Hoyzer changed his story on Thursday after a second consultation with his lawyers.
"I have documented completely and unsparingly my behaviour and my entire substantial knowledge of all facts and people known to me in this matter and am available to prosecutors and the DFB to provide a full explanation," concluded the statement,
released by lawyers Holthoff-Pfoertner.
Public prosecutors said on Thursday they had been involved in the case since Wednesday in response to complaint lodged by the DFB and also a private individual in the southern town of Passau.
"The essence of the criminal complaint of the DFB is ... the 'urgent suspicion' that the referee influenced the result of a match under his control," the statement read.
"According to the complaint, it could 'not be ruled out' that 'Mr Hoyzer had contact with betting customers in a Berlin locale mainly frequented by Croatians' where there was 'evidently betting targeted at matches under Mr Hoyzer's charge'."
Germany was rocked by a corruption scandal in 1971, with sanctions imposed on 53 players, two coaches, six officials and clubs Arminia Bielefeld and Kickers Offenbach.
This is probably the biggest issue in Germany at the moment - specially since Soccer is so big over here.
The news are getting worse and worse - croatian Mafia seems to be involved - the biggest online betting company has supposedly lost about 1 Million Dollar for that single event - players are supposed to be involved too - other referees are supposed to be involved, etc
Suddenly many referees telling stories about getting phonecalls the day before the match and somebody threaten them, to kill their children (actually this seems more common then you would think).
Now my question, do you think something like this could happen in the NBA or NFL too? Because everywhere you can earn lots of money the criminality looks to be very high.