Brazilian Championship Will Continue Season Despite Refereeing Scandal
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - There will be no halt or change to the Brazilian championship after one of the country's top referees became involved in allegations of match-fixing the head of the country's sporting tribunal said Sunday.
'The championship will not stop and there will be no moving the goalposts' Luiz Zveiter said on Sunday after struggling clubs called for relegation to be scrapped this year.
Edilson Pereira de Carvalho a FIFA referee was arrested by federal police at his home in Jacarei on Saturday after the weekly news magazine Veja said he accepted money from an illegal gambling ring to fix matches.
He is expected to be held at the federal police's Sao Paulo headquarters for questioning for several days.
Carvalho who was suspended by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has refereed 11 first division matches in this year's Brazilian championship.
The CBF also banned Paulo Jose Danelon another referee mentioned in the report who refereed four second division games.
Public prosecutors said on Saturday that Carvalho occasionally negotiated the results of matches from the dressing room less than an hour before kickoff.
Zveiter said three of the 11 games refereed by Carvalho - Juventude v Figueirense Sao Paulo v Corinthians and Fluminense v Brasiliense - were not under suspicion.
However he said the remaining eight would be investigated and could be replayed depending on the findings.
'There's a big chance that these games will be declared void. If that happens we can make them be played again' Zveiter said.
'We're not going to allow fraud to win over honesty' he added.
Flamengo president Marcio Braga whose club are 18th in the 22-team table has already called for relegation to be scrapped this year.
Figueirense who are 21st have also said they will not accept relegation.
In Sao Paulo Brazil's sports minister Agnelo Queiroz said he was pleased the matter had been dealt with so quickly.
'This can't be allowed to exist in Brazilian football' he told the Estado news agency.
'The sport is too big for this sort of thing. I'm happy that this is being investigated and the culprits are being punished' he added.