McKinstry and Nijman suspended due to allegations of match-fixing during Icons of Darts Live League

Wessel Nijman and Kyle McKinstry have been suspended by the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) after alleged match-fixing during broadcast matches.

Both incidents occurred during the Modus Icons of Darts Live League – which saw four months of live-streamed action contested remotely during the lockdown period.

The DRA were informed by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) on May 14 of suspicious gambling on a darts match between Nijman and David Evans.

Evans, a BDO World Championship quarter-finalist in January, claimed a 4-0 victory over the emerging Dutchman – who averaged a mere 83 in comparison to his marginally better performances throughout that afternoon.

After a thorough investigation between numerous bodies, DRA Chairman Nigel Mawer has decided that Nijman breached betting regulations and will therefore be suspended from DRA-sanctioned tournaments until the conclusion of the hearing.

“I would like to place on public record my sincere regret and apology for the mistake I made in relation to betting and match-fixing,” said Nijman in a statement released by the PDPA.

“I was put under some pressure to lose a match and I agreed to do this. I have admitted the offence and take full responsibility for it and will accept my punishment.

“I should have spoken to my management, the PDPA, DRA or police when I was put in this position and would advise any other player who finds themselves in a similar position to do that. Instead, I went along with it and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for.

“It was a one-off error of judgement which I want to put behind me and do everything I can to put right.

“I have made private apologies to the people who I have let down, including my family who have backed me through my whole career, my management and sponsors, and I want to publicly apologise to them and everybody involved in darts, including fans.

“My actions are a personal mistake made by me and not a reflection on the sport of darts. I want to move on, rebuild my career and reputation and am committed to helping to educate others through my own unfortunate experience so that this kind of offence can be prevented.“

Nijman pictured after winning his maiden PDC Development Tour title (Photography: PDC)

Meanwhile, reigning Northern Ireland Open champion McKinstry has also received match-fixing accusations from both of his matches against Nijman and Evans.

The DRA were once again notified by the IBIA concerning separate matches played on April 30 and May 2 that supposedly breached rules surrounding gambling.

McKinstry recorded averages of 82 and 69 in emphatic defeats, with an investigation shortly being conducted by the DRA and various other bodies involved in the matter.

McKinstry now has a case to answer for two cases of match fixing and failing to cooperate with the DRA enquiry by not producing his phone itemised billing.

A statement from his management MDA Promotions read: “MDA Promotions are deeply disappointed with regard to Kyle McKinstry and match fixing allegations.

“This management prides itself on sporting integrity at all times and has done for its entire involvement in any sporting activity, darts or otherwise.

“Therefore such allegations for one of our players is to be taken very seriously and we will, of course, accept any decision by the Darts Regulation Authority.

“MDA Promotions will not be making any further comment on the matter until after the full investigation is completed by the Darts Regulation Authority.”

Both McKinstry and Nijman are, as a result, unlikely to compete in the upcoming Challenge Tour and Development Tour events, scheduled to be held in the coming months.

(Featured Image: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics)

About The Author

Ben Hudd Ben is a dedicated sports writer and aspiring sports journalist, covering all aspects of darts for the ever-growing Darts Planet TV. He has a passion for sport, particularly darts, cricket and football.

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