Four players charged over match-fixing

Four players in the Norwegian football league have been charged in connection with match-fixing allegations that plunged the national football association (NFF) into turmoil this week.

NFF reported its suspicions to the police on Monday amid reports that players may have teamed with organized criminals to rig results for betting reasons.

Three of the players charged are from third-tier team Follo, which reported suspicions of match-rigging to NFF after a second-half collapse in its game against Østsiden saw the team shed a 3-0 lead in a match that ended 4-3 to the opposition.

Large bets were made on the game shortly before kickoff on June 24th.

Police arrested and charged the first Follo player on Wednesday, before releasing him from custody a day later. A second player was arrested after police became suspicious during questioning.

On Friday, police apprehended two more players, one from Follo and one from Asker.

Asker had reported its 7-1 defeat to Frigg, also on June 24th, as suspicious.

Both players arrested on Friday are suspected of taking payment in return for attempts to rig the results of the matches in question.

On Sunday, the association axed a second-division game between Ullensaker/Kisa and Ham Kam on Sunday over fears of outside interference aimed at fixing the result.

“NFF and the clubs want to assist the police to the best of our ability, which also means we are unable to comment on specifics relating to the case in light of the investigation,” said NFF president Yngve Hallén in a statement on Sunday.

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Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.