A European police intelligence agency said a 19-month investigation revealed widespread occurrences of soccer match-fixing in recent years, with nearly 700 matches globally deemed suspicious.
Probe shows fixing is suspected
in 680 matches globally
With next summer’s World Cup in Brazil drawing closer, a European police-intelligence agency said Monday a 19-month investigation revealed widespread occurrences of match-fixing in recent years.
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There were 680 matches deemed suspicious. The list encompasses about 380 matches in Europe, covering World Cup qualifiers as well as UEFA Champions League games.
Officials of Europol, an agency that works with countries across the continent, offered details that strike at the sport’s core: nearly $11 million in profits and nearly $3 million in bribes were discovered during the investigation, which uncovered “match-fixing activity on a scale we have not seen before,” said Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol.
Fixers typically seek to dictate a match result by corrupting the players or the on-field officials, and Europol officials said roughly 425 people are under suspicion because of the investigation, with 50 people having been arrested. The scope of the investigation covered matches from 2008 to 2011.
An organized-crime syndicate based in Asia is believed to be the driving force behind the fixing activity, which stretches across at least 15 countries, officials said.
“This is a sad day for European football,” Wainwright said at a news conference in the Netherlands.
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