September 29, 2023

Suspicion of forgery and fraud after raid on GFL team

Marburg. Mercenaries in the crosshairs of the Prosecutor’s Office: Marburg mercenaries are allegedly involved in a fraud scandal – a scandal that could have criminal consequences for the American soccer club and for the people responsible.

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According to OP’s information, the club and several people involved are being investigated on suspicion of forgery and fraud. In recent years, players’ passports have been said to have been deliberately forged in order to be allowed to play in the German Football League (GFL).

Raid the Mercenary Club and commercial buildings

Due to suspicion, according to OP’s information, police raided various houses in the university city on Wednesday, September 13, and the club, the suspects’ rooms, and their private rooms were reportedly searched. The OTP confirmed the OP’s corresponding information in response to the OP’s request.

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Since July 2018, the three current defendants are said to have provided at least three players from non-EU countries with false passports, supposedly from EU countries, so that they could register them as EU citizens with the Hessen League. “We take this seriously, we are checking everything and we will then act accordingly,” the Marburg mercenary said in response to the OP’s request.

The prosecutor’s office is obtaining “extensive evidence.”

Regarding the personnel, investigators say they are initially focusing primarily on a 52-year-old, a 49-year-old and a 45-year-old. According to the OP’s information, these are two board members and an employee of the Marburg Sports Club.

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According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, “extensive evidence” was seized during the searches. Investigations are still ongoing, in particular the evaluation of the seized data carriers.

Aliens regulations in the Federal Gaming Regulations

The rules of the Federal Playing Regulations of the American Football Association in Germany (AFVD) state that according to the AFVD, a club is only allowed to have a passport marked “A” issued to ten players per season – that is, players who are not citizens of an EU member state or “An associated state in Europe including the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Israel or Russia.” You will receive an “A” on your player card and on your jersey.

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On the day of the match, only six players can be nominated to participate in the match on the match sheet. During a match, only two of these Class A foreigners can be on the field at the same time.

American players are qualitatively stronger than most Europeans

Because the issue of nationality and citizenship is central to American football and competitive sports. Because American football is a national sport and is encouraged early on and played at the highest level in high schools, Americans are considered significantly better educated and of higher quality than most Europeans. A team that includes many Americans is more important and promises the team and the club more success.

This means: If someone had the intention, knowledge and means to hide the identity of players from abroad when applying for player passports, for example to register Americans as German, Irish or Italian, this could increase the quality of the team. This approach could ensure that more American boys join.

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Spicy: The passport office of the Hessen Football Association, which processes applications for passports and therefore playing rights and may have appropriate options for tampering, is located in Marburg.

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However, federal gaming regulations clearly state that the player is primarily responsible for providing correct information. The association must then verify members’ information regarding name, date of birth and nationality. “If this does not match the information provided in the passport application, it is assumed that the club has not verified the data. The club must then accept this incorrect information as culpable conduct (inappropriate information).”

Marburg’s mathematical figure curve has been pointing downward for years

The Passport Office only issues passports and does not verify the information – the player and club are responsible for this. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the defendants are said to have circumvented this regulation in order to “give the club a sporting and economic advantage.”

According to OP’s information, suspected fraud was detected during subsequent player changes or after inquiries from international federations about possible nominations for the national team. A footballer who was registered with the mercenaries as a citizen of an EU country, according to his player’s passport, was said to have been invited by the country’s national team, but was surprised by the request. Because: He was not a citizen of this country, but an American.

Aside from possible criminal consequences, there are unlikely to be sporting consequences for mercenaries. A GFL board member said this in response to the OP’s request. However: Even if the Mercenaries have had no notable successes in the sense of championships and only participated once in the qualifiers in 2019 due to alleged squad manipulation in the last five years – the period in focus of the investigation – it is thanks to the hidden reinforcements that they may have at least avoided relegation. Since 2021, “The Mercenaries” have been fighting to stay in the league every season. And now the club has to fight off the field as well.

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