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20th Jan 2022

Former Leeds striker banned for four years over yellow card bribe

Daniel Brown

The Swedish FA confirmed that it related to an incident surrounding a yellow card

Former Leeds United player Pawel Cibicki has been from football for four years following an investigation into match fixing.

Cibicki was suspended by the Polish FA in December 2021 while the investigation was conducted, but the 28-year-old was later banned from playing football for four years by the Swedish FA.

The Swedish player left Leeds in January 2021 and signed for Polish side Pogon Szczecin in the Ekstraklasa – the country’s top division.

However, the forward was investigated for his time with Swedish outfit IF Elfsborg, a club where he spent time on loan at during his time at Elland Road.

At the start of the investigation, the Swedish FA confirmed that it related to an incident surrounding a yellow card which was picked up against Kalmar FF during the 2018-19 season.

According to Reuters, he was suspected of having accepted a bribe of 300,000 Swedish crowns ($32,890.77) in return for getting booked in a game.

While Cibicki was cleared by the district court in Scania county, the prosecutor appealed and that judgement was overturned.

Despite the fact that the prosecutor was unable to prove that the sum of money was a bribe, the winger was sentenced to probation for acceptance of a bribe and gambling-related fraud.

“The circumstances as a whole may nevertheless lead to the conclusion that there must have been such an agreement,” the court said in a statement.

Following the decision, Cibicki proclaimed his innocence on Sweden’s Heltidsproffs podcast, saying: “I’m innocent, and I’ve been innocent since day one.

“I paid back the following month to the account that sent me the money, and if that wasn’t enough, the month after that I paid interest.”

Cibicki made 10 appearances for Leeds but failed to impress in West Yorkshire after joining from Malmo in a deal worth £1.5m in 2017.

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