ES Zarzis president Aly Oueryemmi believes that corruption is eating away at football in Tunisia after his team was at the center of a match-fixing scandal. They were controversially relegated from the top flight. Their draw with ES Hammam Sousse meant that their rivals ES Metlaoui were relegated as well. Two Zarsis layers were handed five-year bans for their actions.
“Corruption is eating away at Tunisian football,” Aly Oueryemmi said after the match-fixing scandal in Tunisia. “There is no fair play nor equal opportunity in Tunisian football – either when it comes to referee or match assignments. There are certain referees that are assigned to manipulate matches. There are unjust referees and controversial results. Results in Tunisian football have never been honest and truthful.”
“The decision has no legal basis whatsoever. We are a big, respectable team that always plays ethically and every other team can vouch for this,” he added. “For the last 10 years, there have been issues with referees, stadiums, fans, and different problems, but the FTF wanted to pin all that on ES Zarzis, thinking we are a small team they can use. The FTF sacrificed Zarzis through results and now wishes to tarnish our reputation. We will not be used as a scapegoat, and will not have our team’s name dragged through the mud. We don’t have media outlets working for us, we’re 600 kilometers from the capital and the federation wanted to use us as a scapegoat.”
“I have spent my whole life playing football and haven’t saved up 50,000 dinars,” Zarzis goalkeeper Wael Kordi said. “A five-year ban and a 50,000-dinar fine for conceding a goal from a one-on-one situation are unfair – any goalkeeper can concede that goal. I concede a normal goal and I find myself accused of match-fixing, this is shocking and unfair. On what grounds was this verdict made?”