Balbuena: Olimpia Integrity Allegations A ‘Matter Of Extreme Delicacy’

According to Javier Balbuena, former director general of Paraguay’s CONAJZAR gambling commission, after the recent appeal against Marco Trovato, president of Club Olimpia, repercussions should be expected.

The appeal to the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) last week called for an investigation into Trovato following allegations first reported by the newspaper group La Nación.

The report stated that the family-owned Trovato CISA was discovered as Fastpay’s parent company, Paraguay’s electronic sports betting payment system, and as a result, 10 out of the 12 Paraguayan Primera División football clubs agreed to the APF appeal.

Balbuena explained: “The question about the legality or not of the firm that provides payment gateway services is not an issue that can be analyzed from a gambling regulation point of view, but rather by the corresponding office of the Central Bank of Paraguay, an institution that is responsible for the regulation of financial intermediation companies and others related to the management of economic resources.

“The environment became confusing when condiments were introduced, such as the violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics and the insinuation of possible commission of damages on the part of members of Paraguayan football in regards to results from first division football matches.”

In addition, the former general manager suggested the possibility of future damage and repercussions as well as exploring the dignity of football and what is needed to ensure it.

He continued: “What happened can be considered as a prelude to the recognition of the need for the governing bodies of sport and the State, through Conajzar, to create the appropriate conditions to guarantee the integrity of football.

“It is a matter of extreme delicacy that, if checked, will be a reason for analysis of  both the governing bodies of football and sports betting. Without a doubt, there will be consequences.”

Balbuena also emphasised that a great deal of significance should be attached to Trovato’s future, noting that the million-dollar question concerned whether Club Olimpia’s owner should “resign from his managerial position or terminate his company’s commercial contract with the sports betting concessionaire.”