Football probe: 380 fixed games
Published : 04 Feb 2013 11:47:22Rss feed
A European soccer match-fixing investigation has uncovered more than 380 suspicious games, including Word Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games.
Rob Wainwright, head of the European police agency Europol, said the investigation uncovered "match fixing activity on a scale we have not seen before."
He said it uncovered 8 million euros (£6.9 million) in betting profits and 2 million euros (£1.7 million) in bribes to players and officials and has already led to several prosecutions.
Wainwright said the involvement of organised crime "highlights a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe."
It was not clear how many of the matches have been revealed in previous match fixing investigations at a national level in countries including Germany and Italy.
"This is a sad day for European football," Wainwright said.
He said a Singapore-based criminal network was involved in the match fixing, spending up to 100,000 euros (£86,000) per match to bribe players and officials.
Wainwright refused to identify any of the suspects, players or matches involved, citing ongoing investigations.
He said while many fixed matches were already known, the Europol investigation lifted the lid on the widespread involvement or organised crime in rigging games.
"This is the first time we have established substantial evidence that organised crime is now operating in the world of football," he said.