‘There will be consequences’ warns former director general of Paraguay’s CONAJZAR gambling commission Javier Balbuena following the recent integrity allegations involving electronic payment system Fastpay and Club Olimpia president Marco Trovato.

The allegations, which were first reported by the La Nación newspaper group, stem from the revelation that the family owned Trovato CISA has been uncovered as the parent company to Fastpay, the electronic payment system for sports betting in Paraguay. 

As a result of this discovery, an appeal was made by 10 out of the 12 Paraguayan Primera División football clubs to the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) requesting an investigation into Tovato’s involvement with sports betting.

Balbuena explained to SBC Noticias:“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.”

As well as an investigation appeal, the signatories also highlighted the need for an ‘urgent’ meeting of club presidents ‘in order to safeguard’ the interests of the entities they lead.

This is because the allegations put forward by La Nación could also point to significant integrity impacts for Paraguayan football in general.

Regarding the integrity of the sport as well as the future consequences surrounding the issue, Balbuena added: “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 for both the governing bodies of football and sports betting. Without a doubt, there will be consequences.”

The former director general also discussed Trovato’s position and the possible penalties he will face, however he stressed that the key question following these allegations would be whether or not ‘Trovato will resign from his managerial position or terminate his company’s commercial contract with the sports betting concessionaire.’