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ICC urges Butt, Asif to apologize for spot-fixing

Published: 24th April 2013 12:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2013 12:14 PM   |  A+A-

Salman_Butt_AP
By AP

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and his teammate Mohammad Asif should move on with their lives by apologizing for the spot-fixing that resulted in their suspensions, the International Council chief executive said on Tuesday.

They were found guilty in an English criminal trial of arranging to bowl no-balls for betting scams during an August 2010 test at Lord's. Butt lost his appeal last week in the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce a 10-year ban while Asif failed to overturn a seven-year suspension. Both will serve five years with the remainder suspended.

"The guilt of these men has now been established on three separate occasions, in three separate sets of proceedings and in three separate forums," the ICC's David Richardson said.

"In addition to the CAS finding Mr. Asif a party to the conspiracy to act corruptly, it is also pleasing to note from the decisions that Mr. Butt acknowledged his part in the fix before the CAS panel," he said. "The time has now come for them to stop misleading the members of the public, especially the supporters of the Pakistan team, and to publicly accept their parts in this corrupt conspiracy."

Richardson also urged them to "come clean" with ICC anti-corruption officials.

"I am certain that both Mr. Butt and Mr. Asif have information that can be of great assistance to the (Anti-Corruption and Security Unit) and its ongoing fight against corruption in ," he said. "I would, therefore, urge them, without any further delay, to start the process of rebuilding their lives and reputations by apologizing for their actions and meeting with ICC's anti-corruption officials to come clean about what actually happened."

Pakistan has been constantly hit by fixing charges in recent times, and this month the Pakistan Board banned international umpire Nadeem Ghauri for four years over corruption charges.

Richardson said the CAS ruling "justifies" the ICC's anti-corruption campaign.

"In my opinion, the single biggest threat to the viability and strength of the sport of , both at international and domestic level, is that posed by those few unscrupulous individuals who, for unlawful financial reward, choose to engage in corrupt practices," he said.

In its ruling last week, the CAS said the sanctions imposed by the ICC tribunal were not disproportionate, "nor that any of the mitigating circumstances advanced by Mr. Butt qualified as exceptional circumstances."

In its written ruling released on Tuesday, the CAS panel said it had "sympathy for Mr. Butt's suffering" but noted Butt made no apology for his actions or "for the detriment caused to the game."

"In those circumstances, a plea for leniency has less resonance."

Regarding Asif, who didn't appeal his ICC sanction, CAS last week said it was "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Asif was party to a spot-fixing conspiracy," and that there was "no evidence advanced ... which clearly exculpated him and that his submissions did not break the chain of circumstantial evidence or in any way undermine the reasoning contained in the ICC's decision."

The same panel of three CAS arbitrators judged both cases after appeal hearings in February. CAS verdicts can be challenged at Switzerland's supreme court, which can overturn decisions only if legal process was abused.

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