Brazil's match-fixing investigation due to 'maximum penalty' entering new phase

The Brazilian football match-fixing investigation "Operation Maximum Penalties" has completed the third phase.

Apr 8, 2024
2 min read
Members of Brazilian football club Goiania gather on the field. The team is one of several
Members of Brazilian football club Goiania gather on the field. The team is one of several under investigation for possible match-fixing in previous


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Brazil's match-fixing investigation due to 'maximum penalty' entering new phase

The Brazilian Goiás State Government (MP-GO) has launched the third phase of its maximum-penalty operation to combat match-fixing in football. On Tuesday, search and seizure warrants were executed in eight cities across five states as part of seven investigations.

The Special Action Group Against Organized Crime (Gaeco, by its Portuguese abbreviation) led the operation and was supported by a number of government agencies. These include the Institutional Security and Intelligence Coordination Service (CSI), the Gendarmerie of Goiás State, the Public Ministry Network of São Paulo Gaeco, and Gaeco in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraíba and Rio de Janeiro, according to MP-GO.

One of the highlights of the operation is a match between Flamengo and Avaí at the 2022 Brazilian Championship. Avai won 2-1 but there was always concern about how that victory was achieved.

The investigation never ends

In the latest round of operations, an extension of previous phases of Operation Maximum Penalty, operations were carried out in Goiânia, Bataguazu, Campina Grande, Nilopolis, Santana do Parnaiba, Ten search and seizure warrants were executed in São Paulo, Volta Redonda and Votubalanga. In addition to Flamengo's match with Avaí, the investigation also includes two matches from the Brazilian Championship's second division in 2022 - Nautico vs. Sampaio Correa, and Nautico vs. Crete. Siuma.

The remaining matches are all taking place this year and include Goiania vs. Aparecidense, Goias vs. Goiania, Nacional vs. Auto Esporte and Sousa vs. Auto Esporte. The State Department has not yet released any specific details about the investigation. Additionally, the names of the players allegedly involved in the scheme have not been mentioned.

Previous investigations have seen players involved in other matches receive penalties ranging from fines to permanent bans. Among them, Gabriel Tota and Matheus Gomez received the most severe sentences and will never be able to play professional football in Brazil again.


The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF, by its Portuguese abbreviation) and the Federal Police (PF, by its Portuguese abbreviation) have joined forces to combat football match-fixing.

CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues informed football officials and state governments across the country this week that the PF will now receive a copy of all suspicious case reports detected by Sportradar match analysis technology.

In his letter, Rodriguez emphasized his commitment to transparency and integrity in football. He explained that the information sent to the PF included reports and documents on matches deemed suspicious. It will include games created prior to the new partnership with PF.

The alliance between CBF and Sportradar is a core part of the integrity measures taken by CBF. The two began dating in 2017 and renewed their contract for three years last year.

As part of this partnership, Sportradar monitors more than 3,000 CBF sanctioned matches each year. This greatly expanded the scope of Brazilian football competitions under his jurisdiction. The monitoring extends to the monitoring of Serie C and Serie D matches.

The partnership includes the provision of intelligence and investigative services. Through its partnership with the PF, the CBF is strengthening its commitment to combating match-fixing and corruption. Hopefully it will continue to root out the criminal organizations behind the match-fixing crisis.

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