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Finnish pes├Ąpallo match-fixing scandal

Finnish pesäpallo match-fixing scandal was a match fixing scandal in Finland that involved a large number of players and other team officials of Superpesis, the top professional league of the Finnish sport of pesäpallo, a game similar to baseball. On the 11th and 13th of August 1998, players and managers of eight teams fixed five different matches. Sports gambling is legal in Finland, all games were on the betting list of the Finnish national betting agency Veikkaus; the matches were in the last two rounds on the Superpesis regular season, they were meaningless for the teams. Four out of five matches ended in a draw after two periods; the scam was unveiled a year later. Finnish police interrogated 460 persons involving the scandal. Most of them were never charged due to lack of evidence or for the reason that they were only lucky gamblers who had a hint on the results of meaningless games. Over 30 people were discharged. Veikkaus suffered losses of at least 14 million Finnish marks. All teams involved were relegated two levels down in the league system and Veikkaus imposed a ban on all betting on pesäpallo matches for six years.

The agency started taking bets again in 2005. Betting on a draw was not allowed until 2009; the Finnish pesäpallo association lost a part of its state financing. Public interest on pesäpallo, considered to be the national game of Finland, fell for many years before recovering. Attendance did not reach pre-scandal levels until 2009. 11 August 1998 SMJ, SeinäjokiKaMa, Kankaanpää 1-2 Lippo, Oulu – Kiri, Jyväskylä 2-1 13 August 1998 Tiikerit, Helsinki – HP, Hamina 2-1 SiiPe, Siilinjärvi – Juvan Pallo, Juva 0-2 KaMa, Kankaanpää – Lippo, Oulu 2-1

Virgilio Ruiz Fernandez

Virgilio Ruiz Fernández is a Spanish-Mexican painter, representative of the neo-realist and neo-naturalist schools of painting in Mexico. His work is influenced by the Spanish and Flemish Renaissance and baroque European traditions and the Mexican Expressionism, he is a supporter of the recovery of painting techniques from these periods and its learning and development in modern art in Mexico. The work of Virgilio Ruiz encompasses different thematic and technical periods, from portraits and allegorical, mythological and biblical themes and personages, using specially the tempera and oil techniques on canvas and wood in small and big formats; the approach of indirect painting and glaze techniques are extensively used to highlight the luminous content, deepness of planes and volume of the represented objects and figures, on one hand, the emotional and expressive aspects of the characters and contexts thus depicted. The development of the oeuvre of Virgilio Ruiz Fernández has as common thrust the recovery of art as a spiritual activity aimed at representing and expressing nature and human life on the basis of the technical achievements of the classical painting in Europe and making the most of them for aesthetical purposes and subjective expression, as opposed to other “mechanical” representative techniques such as the photography.

Virgilio Ruiz Fernández was born in Madrid and emigrated from Spain together with his family after the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936. The family settled down in Mexico City in 1941, where Ruiz Fernández attended university and developed his studies of painting and drawing techniques; the influence of exiled Spanish intellectuals and artists during the 1950s proved to be essential for his career on the evocative aspect of it. He established further contact with representatives of the Mexican historicist schools of La Esmeralda and the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. In 1975 he opened his own academy, where students and professional painters alike learnt and refined their pictorial skills and techniques tempera and oil, he lives in Mexico City