STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Former Leeds United winger Pawel Cibicki has been convicted of offences related to match-fixing by a court of appeal in Sweden after it overturned an earlier district court ruling.
The 27-year-old, who was on the books at Elland Road from 2017 to 2020 but often loaned out to other clubs, was suspected of having accepted a bribe of 300,000 Swedish crowns ($32,890.77) in return for getting booked in a game in Sweden’s top flight while on loan at Elfsborg in 2019.
Cibicki and the two men who gave him the money, which the player said was a loan, were cleared by the district court in Scania county, but the prosecutor appealed and that judgement was overturned.
The winger was sentenced to probation for acceptance of a bribe and gambling-related fraud, despite the fact that the prosecutor was unable to offer proof that the sum of money was a bribe.
“The circumstances as a whole may nevertheless lead to the conclusion that there must have been such an agreement,” the court said in a statement.
Cibicki, who has also played for Molde in Norway, Dutch club Den Haag and Polish side Szczecin, has been banned from playing football for four years by the Swedish FA, proclaimed his innocence on a podcast earlier in the week.
“I’m innocent, and I’ve been innocent since day one,” he said on Sweden’s Heltidsproffs podcast. “I paid back the following month to the account that sent me the money, and if that wasn’t enough, the month after that I paid interest.”
The two men who gave Cibicki the money were also convicted of bribery and gambling-related fraud.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge)