Thursday, 26 July 2012

Jogia banned

Joe Jogia's two-year ban from professional snooker shows the WPBSA mean business.

The severity of the punishment requires a sharp intake of breath upon first sight, but also appears to come with quite conclusive evidence and fires a stern warning to any other players tempted by underhand activity.

Picture by Monique Limbos
Facing disciplinary action in relation to the suspicious betting patterns ahead of his match with Matt Selt at the Sky Snooker Shootout at Blackpool in January, evidence against Jogia is pretty damning.

A number of bets were placed on Selt to win, which Jogia attributes to an injury he picked up in the build-up to the match. He withdrew from the match but the investigation shows four of these bets were made before his injury was sustained.

Jogia was suspended in May pending further investigation and the key evidence is summarised here. A total of 19 bets were made or attempted at different betting shops in the Leicester on Jogia to lose. Fourteen of the bets came to a total of £4,830, another four reached £2,300 and the final one for an unknown amount was declined.

Two people placing bets were associates of Jogia and in regular telephone contact before the the stakes were laid. Jogia sent 33 text messages and made three phone calls to one of them and sent 42 text messages and made one phone call to the other.

Unable to give a reasonable explanation for this, Jogia will serve a ban until the end of the 2014 World Championship and must pay a hefty £2,000 fine towards the costs of the hearing and investigation of the case.

With his reputation in tatters, this is potentially the end for Jogia in the professional ranks. Currently ranked number 57 in the world, he will be forced to re-qualify for the main tour if he wishes to return. He has been made an example of and the case is a clear message of the hard line WPBSA will take to matters that bring the sport into disrepute.

Here's the full statement issued by World Snooker.

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