Wessel Nijman handed five-year suspension from darts for match-fixing

Wessel Nijman has been suspended from darts for a period of five years after being found guilty of match fixing in the Modus Icons of Darts series.

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported suspicious betting on a match to be played between Wessel Nijman and David Evans in the Icons of Darts series on May 14, 2020.

The Modus Live League was a series of live-streamed events sanctioned by the Darts Regulation Authority, which spanned from April to August, in which players competed remotely.

Evans went on to win the match in question 4-0, prompting an investigation by the DRA and various gambling bodies.

Following the investigation and hearing, the DRA has ruled that PDPA associate member Nijman has been suspended from the sport for a period of five years.

Two-and-a-half years of the ban will be suspended on the condition that Nijman continues to engage in player education and anti-corruption measures.

Nijman had admitted the charge and has fully cooperated with the DRA and PDPA, and his enthusiasm to engage in player education and anti-corruption measures has been reflected in the ruling.

The suspension is backdated to August 18, 2020 until midnight on 17 August 2025.

Provided the 20-year-old complies with the conditions of his initial suspension, he will be free to play again from February 18, 2023 onwards.

He was also ordered to pay £2,455 towards the costs of the hearing.

Nijman issued the following statement in response to the DRA Disciplinary Committee decision:

“I would like to start by reiterating my sincere regret and apology for the mistakes I have made. I fully accept the outcome of my hearing.

“While it is clear that I was put under external pressure, ultimately I agreed to do this and take full responsibility for my actions.

“I know that I should have immediately reported this contact to the DRA anti-corruption department or sought guidance from the PDPA, my management or the police.

“I hope any other player who finds themselves in a similar position will learn from my mistakes and follow the correct procedure to help protect their own integrity and the integrity of darts as a sport.

“Unfortunately, I did not do that and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for.

“I will miss playing competitive darts but will work hard to help the DRA and PDPA with education and anti-corruption initiatives after learning a lot from this experience.

“I want to take this opportunity to again place on record my deepest apologies to everyone affected by my actions. This includes my family, who have supported me throughout my life and career, my management and sponsors, the PDC, PDPA and everybody involved in darts, including fans.

“I now want to focus on finding a way to make amends and will do everything I can to ensure that my experience is used to deter others from making similar mistakes in the future.

“I have said everything I want to say on the matter and will not be making any further comments.”

Meanwhile, Kyle McKinstry has been found guilty of two separate instances of match-fixing in the same series, the first of which coming against David Evans on April 30, which Evans won 5-0, while the second occurred on May 2 against Nijman.

The Northern Irishman had failed to cooperate with the DRA enquiry by not producing his phone itemised billing and had his management contract terminated by MDA Promotions.

McKinstry remains suspended until the case is concluded, and the Disciplinary Committee will reconvene at a later date to decide on a sanction.

Wessel Nijman maintains unbeaten record in Modus Icons of Darts Live League

Wessel Nijman extended his unbeaten run to eight matches as he won Group Two of the Modus Icons of Darts Live League on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Dutchman picked up from where he left off in winning Monday’s Group One as he dropped just eight legs in another dominant day of darts.

The Icons of Darts Live League features stars of past and present battling it out in a round-robin format from the comfort of their own homes, with all matches streamed exclusively live online.

Just as he did on Day One, Nijman began Group Two with a commanding victory over his Dutch compatriot Raymond van Barneveld, running out a 5-2 winner.

The Development Tour star then overcame David Evans 5-3 with a 95.8 average before thrashing Paul Nicholson 5-1 with a 99 average and five from eight on the doubles.

His fourth and final match of the day proved a straight shoot-out with Andy Jenkins to determine the group winner, and the teenager stormed to a 5-2 success with a 95.7 average and a high checkout of 121.

Jenkins had stepped in for Mark Webster to make his debut in the competition and enjoyed a fine start, winning three of his four fixtures to finish in second spot.

The former World Championship semi-finalist began the day by edging past Paul Nicholson in a deciding leg, before repeating the dose on Evans.

Jenkins then thrashed an out of sorts Van Barneveld 5-1 before losing out to a red hot Nijman.

Van Barneveld’s nightmare start to the tournament continued as he failed to register a win for the second day running.

The five-time World Champion mustered just nine legs from his four matches and is now rooted to the foot of the overall standings.

BDO World Championship quarter-finalist Evans occupies second position in the overall table with ten points from his eight matches so far, four clear of Jenkins and Nicholson and six adrift of runaway leader Nijman.

The Icons of Darts Live League continues on Wednesday with Group Three commencing from 11am BST.


Modus Icons of Darts Live League 2020 Results

Tuesday April 7

Group Two

Andy Jenkins (84.8) 5-4 Paul Nicholson (86.6)
Raymond van Barneveld (84.9) 2-5 Wessel Nijman (89.5)
David Evans (96.8) 4-5 Andy Jenkins (90.8)
Paul Nicholson (91.2) 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld (80.6)
Wessel Nijman (95.8) 5-3 David Evans (91.7)
Andy Jenkins (89.9) 5-1 Raymond van Barneveld (92.5)
Paul Nicholson (80) 1-5 Wessel Nijman (99)
David Evans (88) 5-4 Raymond van Barneveld (92.4)
Andy Jenkins (82.7) 2-5 Wessel Nijman (95.7)
Paul Nicholson (89) 4-5 David Evans (87.5)

Wessel Nijman wins Icons of Darts Live League Group One

Wessel Nijman reeled off four consecutive wins to come out on top in Group One of the Modus Icons of Darts Live League on Monday.

The emerging Dutch star, 19, dropped just nine legs as he stormed to victory on the first day of the live-streamed tournament.

The Icons of Darts Live League features stars of past and present battling it out in a round-robin format from the comfort of their own homes.

Group One saw five-time World Champion start out as strong favourite to claim glory, but the Dutch legend slumped to four consecutive defeats and finished bottom of the group.

Nijman made a dream start by thrashing his Dutch compatriot 5-1 before producing a sublime display of finishing to edge past Challenge Tour ace David Evans 5-4.

Nijman produced checkouts of 149, 68, 83, 147 and 84 and averaged 100.6 in a superb second showing.

He then saw off former Players Champion Paul Nicholson 5-3 with four 180s to his name in a contest which saw both players average 94.

Nijman then maintained his 100 per cent record on the day by thrashing 2008 Lakeside Champion Mark Webster 5-1 with a 96.7 average and a further four maximums.

Evans, a BDO World Championship quarter-finalist in January, finished second after claiming three wins from his four matches.

Evans began the day by edging out Mark Webster in a deciding leg and recovered from a narrow defeat to Nijman in a decider by defeating Van Barneveld 5-3 in a match dominated by missed doubles.

The Manchester marksman then reeled off four consecutive legs as he came from 2-1 down to defeat Nicholson 5-3.

The Icons of Darts Live League continues on Tuesday, with former World Championship semi-finalist Andy Jenkins stepping in for Webster.


Modus Icons of Darts Live League Results

Monday April 6

Group One

Mark Webster (73.2) 4-5 Paul Nicholson (79.5)
Raymond van Barneveld (83.5) 1-5 Wessel Nijman (92.5)
David Evans (82) 5-4 Mark Webster (83)
Paul Nicholson (95.6) 5-2 Raymond van Barneveld (88.3)
Wessel Nijman (100.6) 5-4 David Evans (97.4)
Mark Webster (91.7) 5-4 Raymond van Barneveld (98.2)
Paul Nicholson (94.5) 3-5 Wessel Nijman (94.3)
David Evans (84.7) 5-3 Raymond van Barneveld (80.2)
Mark Webster (76.8) 1-5 Wessel Nijman (96.7)
Paul Nicholson (98.3) 2-5 David Evans (88.9)