Unfortunately, cases of convictions for violation of the anti-corruption program in tennis continue to occur. But in Portugal, it is an unprecedented case: the referee Daniel Zeferino is banned from tennis. The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has proven that the president of the jury manipulates the insertion of the results on his tablet, making it easier for the punters, who win a lot of money due to the difference in seconds between the placement of the bet and the appearance of the result.
The case dates back to a future – tournament of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit – which was held in Beloura, in September 2020 and took Portuguese tennis officials by surprise.
Daniel Zeferino was at the highest level of international arbitration (“white badge”) for being passionate about tennis, although his main occupation was the Portuguese Air Force’s meteorological services, where he holds the rank of captain.
Faced with the charges, Daniel Zeferino admitted what had happened and accepted the sentence.
“This situation had dragged on for almost two years, when we received information from the ITIA that he was suspended. Later, I even asked if there was a decision, but I didn’t even get an answer. Until last week we were informed that he had been banned from all tennis competitions,” said Paulo Cardoso, president of the Portuguese Tennis Federation’s arbitration board.
The case is further confirmation that the betting mafia remains very active in tennis tournaments, especially in smaller ones, where money offers are more attractive.
There was no respite from the ITIA and last week six Spanish tennis players were suspended for two years for match-fixing. Only two were in the world rankings, with the highest ranked being 236th in the table.