Match-fixing probe finds 380 suspicious matches

AP, THE HAGUE, Netherlands

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 - Page 20

A wide-ranging match-fixing investigation has uncovered more than 380 suspicious soccer matches — including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two UEFA Champions League games — and found evidence that a crime group based in Singapore is closely involved in match-fixing.

“This is a sad day for European football,” Rob Wainwright, head of the EU police organization Europol, said yesterday.

He said the investigation uncovered “match-fixing activity on a scale we have not seen before.”

The probe uncovered 8 million euros (US$10.9 million) in betting profits and 2 million euros in bribes to players and officials, and has already led to several prosecutions.

Wainwright said the involvement of organized crime “highlights a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe.”

He said a Singapore-based criminal network was involved in the match-fixing, spending up to 100,000 euros per match to bribe players and officials.