Match Fixing Euro Style

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Match Fixing Euro Style

Post by Agent 47 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:26 pm

Match fixing of European soccer matches on a massive scale

Broadcast: Feb 4, 2013

Europe Correspondent, Mary Gearin, explains what has been found about attempts to fix at least 380 European soccer matches.


EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Police in Europe are unveiling the details of a massive investigation into match-fixing in European soccer. Europol says it's uncovered a criminal syndicate that attempted to fix more than 380 matches, including World Cup qualifiers and Champions League games.

For more on the scandal we're joined by Europe correspondent Mary Gearin in London.

Hi, Mary. Tell us - we're hearing that they've never seen a match-fixing scandal on this scale in Europe. What exactly are the findings as we know them?

MARY GEARIN, EUROPE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Emma, you're right, it's absolutely mind-boggling, the figures that they've been putting to us this morning. As you say, 380 matches around Europe since 2009 have now thought to have involved match-fixing, and on top of that, another suspected 300 outside of Europe. We're talking about 15 countries being implicated. 425 match officials, referees, club officials, players and criminals involved. There have been 50 arrests so far. As you say, it's been a massive investigation led by Europol, Interpol, over 18 months involving raids and wiretaps, and what they've come up with is, as you say, involving really important matches. We've got the World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League games, one of which has been played in England. And as well as that, national league games in Africa, Asia, South and Central America involving amounts of $20 million bet in total. The criminals made a profit of over $10 million on payments of $2.5 million to individuals with the biggest bribe being described as about $180,000.

So, while we've known there've been problems in Germany and Italy in their leagues and we're not sure how much overlap there's been, how many of those matches are now coming to light again in this investigation, this is definitely the biggest picture we've had of organised crime operating in international football.

EMMA ALBERICI: And what can you tell us about the actual criminal syndicate?

MARY GEARIN: What investigators have said is that it was a cartel based in Singapore, a highly sophisticated group that operated on three levels. At the lowest level you had the people who were going around making single and multiple bets on manipulated markets. At another level you had people who would identify who were the players and officials who would be most likely to help manipulate these games. And at the top level the organisers who would organise all of the bookmakers and the bets. They'd use companies as fronts, tax havens, money laundering and the investigators talked about how difficult it was to actually get a picture of the extent of this criminal activity. In fact what they're saying is that they fear it could be the tip of the iceberg and that leagues like the English league can't be naive or complacent enough to think that it hasn't spread and there'll be more bad news to hear from here.

EMMA ALBERICI: Mary Gearin in London, thanks so much for that update.

MARY GEARIN: Thank you.

This month's sports scandal is brought to you by "The beautiful game."

Agent 47
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