Mon February 4, 2013
Europol Uncovers Match-Fixing Scheme, Questions 'Integrity' Of Football In Europe
The European Union police organization, Europol, uncovered a massive match-fixing scheme that they say presents "a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe."
As the AP reports, the Europol investigation found "more than 380 suspicious matches — including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games — and found evidence that a Singapore-based crime group is closely involved in match-fixing."
BBC Sport reports police say one Champions League game that ended in a tie was a part of the fixed matches.
"It is clear to us this is the biggest-ever investigation into suspected match-fixing in Europe. It has yielded major results which we think have uncovered a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe," Rob Waiwright, director of Europol, said according to the BBC. "We have uncovered an extensive criminal network."
Wainwright said this is the first time they have evidence to establish organized crime has taken a foothold in the soccer world.
The AP adds:
"He said a Singapore-based criminal network was involved in the match fixing, spending up to €100,000 ($136,500) per match to bribe players and officials.
"It was not immediately clear how many of the matches mentioned Monday have been revealed in previous match-fixing investigations in countries including Germany and Italy.
"Wainwright and other officials and prosecutors declined to identify any of the suspects, players or matches involved, citing their ongoing investigations."