Two Canadian Soccer League teams have been named during an ever widening match fixing trial centering around Croatian ringleader Ante Sapina.
Sapina, 35, along with Ivan Pavic, 29 (Croatian), Marijo Cvrtak, 35, (Croatian), Deniz Celik, 32, (Turkish), Ramazan Köse, 47 (Turkish) and Dragan Mihelic, 40 (Slovenian) have been facing lengthy sentences and are now co-operating with prosecutors in exchange for reduced sentences.
Cvrtak gave evidence this week that implicated clubs from Croatia, Belgium, Hungary, Turkey and Slovenia. Most notably, at least for Canadians, Cvrtak named the CSL's Trois Rivierès and Toronto Croatia as two teams the gambling ring sought to fix. Specific details of which games and when were not reported at this time.
When contacted by Metro, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) expressed shock at the revelation and promised action in the days ahead.
"This is obviously new information to us. Neither the league or any individuals had alerted us to any alleged fixing but we take this very seriously and will be investigating it further," CSA Vice-President Victor Montagliani said. "Now that this is public we will have to sit down with the Canadian Soccer League and discuss it with them and determine what action, if any, is warranted."
CSL league administrator Pino Jazbec was reached Sunday night for comment.
"Right now we do not know the games that are involved. So, for now, I must say no comment, until we investigate further."
The Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) was reached for comment Monday afternoon and also expressed their concern.
"Today was the first I've heard of it but it is concerning. The OSA does not have any governance over the CSL. They are exclusively governed by the Canadian Soccer Association," OSA president Ron Smale told Metro. "We're are waiting to hear further from the CSA on this."
The CSA's Annual General Meeting is coming up in May and Montagliani added that he expected that this would be added to their agenda upon further investigation.
Metro has contacted Toronto Croatia and had not heard back from them at the time of publishing.