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Learning English - Words in the News
26 September, 2005 - Published 10:47 GMT
Red card for Brazilian referee
Referee's cards

Brazil's football season has been thrown into confusion following the arrest of a senior referee. The referee is accused of helping to arrange matches as part of an illegal betting ring. This report from Steve Kingstone:

Listen to the story

Over several months the Brazilian police secretly recorded the phone conversations of forty-three year-old Edilson Pereira de Carvalho. The allegation is that he received instructions on how to referee First Division matches from participants in an illegal internet betting ring.

It's claimed that sometimes those instructions would come just moments before kick-off. Mr. Carvalho would then favour one team or the other, allegedly for a fee of between four and six thousand dollars per game. The official has now been questioned by the police and suspended from his duties, along with a second referee accused of fixing lower division matches. On Sunday the Brazilian authorities wrote to football's world governing body, FIFA, recommending that Mr. Carvalho also be suspended as an approved international referee.

With Brazil already two thirds of the way through its football season, there's now heated debate about what the authorities should do next. The eleven games refereed by Mr. Carvalho will almost certainly have to be replayed and amid claims of more widespread match fixing, the Brazilian Football Confederation has promised an independent inquiry.

Steve Kingstone, BBC NEWS, Sao Paulo

Listen to the words

something that has not been proved but states that someone has done something wrong or illegal

betting ring
a group of people who work together to make money by gambling

favour one team or the other
to give decisions for one team over another to help them win

said with the knowledge that something is believed to be true but it has not been proven

suspended from his duties
not allowed to work but not dismissed from his job

illegally or dishonestly arranging the result

heated debate
strong and angry argument

amid claims of more widespread match fixing
in the situation where it is suggested that the results of more matches have been dishonestly arranged

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