• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Match-fixing scandal taints Bundesliga

The Local · 4 Feb 2013, 16:41

Published: 04 Feb 2013 16:41 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Warning the integrity of the world's favourite sport was at stake, Europol said a five-country probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by a Singapore-based betting cartel. The illegal activities included bribing players, referees and officials across the world at all levels of the game.

"It is clear to us that this is the biggest investigation ever into suspected match-fixing," Europol chief Rob Wainwright told a news conference in The Hague. "It is the work of a sophisticated organised crime syndicate based in Asia and working with criminal facilitators around Europe."

Europol said that at least 425 referees, players and other officials were suspected of involvement, with matches rigged so that major sums of money could be won through betting.

Most of the allegedly fixed matches were played in the Turkish, German and Swiss championships, but other matches around the world are also of concern. Two of Europe's Champions League matches and some World Cup qualifiers were also suspected, Europol said.

German chief investigator Friedhelm Althans said that showed "the true horrifying nature of the problem" and the implications were stark, including financial losses for legal betting firms, clubs, players and the trust of the supporting public.

"Operating from Singapore by heads of this organisation, bribes of up to €100,000 per match were paid in cash, which was taken all over the world by money couriers," he added.

Althans said around 70 matches in Germany were under suspicion.

"If that figure is true, it would be terrifying," said Germany national team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

The BBC reported that the criminals made upwards of €8 million from the manipulated German games.

Wainwright said he would be writing to the head of European football's governing body UEFA, Michel Platini, but said all of football needed to "heed the warning" and be on guard.

The revelations come after Interpol last month warned that global football corruption was helping to fuel the criminal underworld's domination of prostitution, drug-trafficking and gun-running and in the wake of several high-profile scandals.

They include the so-called "calcioscommesse" or illegal football betting affair in Italy, which overshadowed the country's preparations for last year's European championships and saw several top footballers arrested.

No details were given about which top-flight matches were involved because some investigations were still on-going, although it was revealed that one of the Champions League matches had been played in England.

Criminals made over $11 million in profits from betting on fixed matches.

Europol showed television coverage of a suspect match, an international between Argentina and Bolivia, during which a Hungarian referee awards a highly dubious penalty.

AFP/DPA/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

17:13 February 4, 2013 by smart2012
Ops, corruption in Germany???
20:52 February 4, 2013 by lucksi
So, how many of the over 425 bribees have been arrested? And what about the bribers?

^no clue if those are words.

But hey, at least you can say the same about soccer than wrestling.

"It's real to me, damnit!"
Today's headlines
VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Afghan teen arrested over German murder-rape
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / DPA / AFP file picture

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

Nazi POW leaves estate to 'kind' Scottish village
The former German soldier stayed on to work in the Perthshire village for a time after the war. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP file picture

A former Nazi prisoner of war has left his entire estate in his will to a small village in Scotland to show his appreciation for the kindness he received there during his captivity.

US tries to block Chinese purchase of Aixtron
Photo: Oliver Berg / DPA / AFP

US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal.

Merkel to chart 2017 election battle at party congress
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

After Donald Trump's shock victory, Francois Hollande's decision not to seek re-election and populism on the rise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is next up on the campaign podium to set out her strategy for winning in 2017 polls.

Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd