Morocco football ex-captain heavily fined for defamation
Casablanca: A former captain of Raja Casablanca was ordered Monday to pay around 30,000 euros in fines and damages, after he accused the Moroccan football club of trying to fix matches.
Last September, Amin Erbati told a Moroccan newspaper that he was asked several times during the 2012-2013 season to bribe opponents. The Casablanca club eventually won the league, but Erbati`s contract was not renewed.
The 33-year-old has been absent throughout the trial, reportedly leaving his home several days before it began in October, and may currently be in Spain, according to the Moroccan press.
"I agreed to play despicable, base roles for the love of Raja... I tried to bribe the players of several teams... offering them money to lift their feet, but they refused," Erbati said during the interview.
The Casablanca court ordered him to pay a 10,000 dirham (900 euro) fine, and damages worth 150,000 dirhams (13,500 euro) to his former club, which has always vigorously denied Erbati`s allegations and filed defamation charges against him.
He must also pay a fine and damages of the same value to Raja`s former coach Mhamed Fakhir, who filed similar charges.
Morocco`s most popular football club has won the national league 11 times and Africa CAF Champions League three times,
They created a sensation in December by reaching the final of the Club World Cup, hosted by Morocco, beating Mexico`s CF Monterrey and Brazilians Atletico Mineiro, before losing 2-0 to German champions Bayern Munich.