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Champions League Match Played in England Was Fixed

Mon 4th Feb 2013 | Legal

A Champions League match played in England was corrupt an investigation by Europol has revealed.

The match, which has not been identified due to "ongoing judicial proceedings" was one of two Champions League games thought to have been targeted by match-fixers.

In a press conference held at The Hague, Europol, the European Union’s law enforcemen tagency revealed details of some 680 football matches across the world with 380 in Europe, said to have been corrupt.

Some 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals are suspected of being involved centred on a crime syndicate based in Singapore liaising with criminal networks throughout Europe. It’s understood that match-fixing has taken place in 15 countries and 50 people have so far been arrested.

In an investigation lasting 18 months Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, said: "This is the work of a suspected organised crime syndicate based in Asia and operated with criminal networks around Europe.

"It is clear to us this is the biggest-ever investigation into suspected match-fixing in Europe. It has yielded major results which we think have uncovered a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe.

"We have uncovered an extensive criminal network."

Europol revealed the true scale of the match-fixing with World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League ties and "several top football matches in European leagues" all affected.

They also revealed how criminals had put €16m on rigged matches and made €8m in profits with payments of up to €2m thought to have been paid to those involved, with the biggest payment to an individual believed to be €140,000.

Whilst they declined to name the clubs involved in the match played in England, Wainwright did confirm that it had taken place in the last “three to four years”.

He added: "The focus has been on other countries, not the United Kingdom. However we were surprised by the scale generally of the criminal enterprise and just how widespread it was.

"It would be naive and complacent of those in the UK to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe."

Declan Hill, author of The Fix, Soccer and Organised Crime told fcbusiness in an interview last year:  “The fixers will go where it is easiest to manipulate a match. At the moment they feel a lot safer in Turkey, Greece and Eastern Europe.

“However, to say that they are not looking at the English game is totally naïve. It is the biggest football market in the world after all”

To read the full feature on Match Fixing – Is the UK immune or Naïve? Click Here

 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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