Ghanaian midfielder Joseph Mensah has been jailed in Germany for his alleged involvement in a match fixing scandal that rocked the European country four years ago.
Mensah was fined 6,000 Euros in 2008 for his alleged role in attempting to fix the match between his then team RW Erfurt and Fortuna Duesseldorf in March 2006.
The 25-year-old has not paid a fine because he strenuously denies he was involved and has been arrested to serve a custodial sentence.
His current club VFR Aalen have cancelled his contract and have refused to comment on the incident.“He is not with us for personal reasons and he is not available,” was the brief and concise explanation from VFR Aalen spokesman Sebastian Gehring.The Ghanaian refused to pay the fine insisting he is innocent of the crimes he is alleged to have committed and even refused to pay the amount even when instalment payment arrangements were made.
But the German authorities swooped to arrest him on 15 September for the custodial sentence until the fine is paid.
“For obvious reasons Joseph Mensah has been sitting in detention since 15 September 2010,” says the senior public prosecutor said.
“He was approached by a betting gang. There was an appointment to fix a game but the bets could not be placed because there were arrests before the game.”
His lawyer Doris Moeller Scheu denies he committed the offence and his people at his former club Kickers Offenbach have reacted with shock.
Coach Rainer Scharinger says that “we were very surprised by this development. We all know and have not met Joe as a man very different.”
“He has always behaved correctly. As long as he was in Aalen VFR, we can even say anything to him.”
Mensah was also part of the Kickers Offenbach and contributed significantly to winning the championship.