Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 18 News List

One arrest could scupper match-fixing, journalist says

Reuters, ROME

“July is a peak season for fixers because you have a market that is betting 365 [days of the year], 24 hours a day, but from June to early August there’s very little European football,” he said.

The big tournaments could also be affected.

“They don’t know based on their early-warning system whether there’s fixing in the World Cup or the [UEFA] Champions League, because there’s too much liquidity — too much money being placed on a game,” Hill said. “Betfair [an Internet betting exchange based in London] for last year’s [UEFA] Champions League final had a liquidity of £1 billion [US$1.59 billion]. Multiply Betfair by 60 or 80 and you’ve got tens of billions on one game. The only thing they [UEFA] have is a system that doesn’t collect information effectively for the big games and doesn’t take any information if the fixers are intelligent. So to suggest that there’s only less than 1 percent of European matches across UEFA being fixed is a total fantasy.”

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