The referee who failed to disclose an approach from an illegal betting group prior to taking charge of a Europa League match has lost his appeal against a life ban from the game.
Ukrainian official Oleg Oriekhov had taken his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after UEFA issued him with a life ban last July, but CAS today announced it had ruled in favour of Europe's governing body.
Oriekhov refereed the Group E clash between FC Basle and CSKA Sofia on November 5, 2009, a match Basle won 3-1.
It was established that both before and after the game, criminal groups contacted Oriekhov regarding an offer to manipulate results in return for money.
Oriekhov had not denied failing to report the contacts, but claimed he did so because of a poor grasp of English and because he was unaware of who he should go to. But that argument was rejected by CAS.
"The CAS panel considered that Oleg Oriekhov deliberately violated the principles of conduct provided by the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations as he did not inform UEFA immediately of the existence of such contacts,'' the CAS ruling said.
CAS also noted that no proof has been found to suggest the match was actually fixed.
"The existence or not of an effective manipulation concerning the Europa League match between FC Basle and CSKA Sofia could not be established during the CAS procedure,'' CAS said.