The Bundesliga (DFL) and the German Football Association (DFB) say they are both looking into claims that two 2005 games were manipulated in favour of massive bets.
Spiegel Online reported allegations on Saturday that a first league match between Hannover 96 and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, and a second division match between Karlsruher SC and Sportfreunde Siegen were suspect – and that several million euros were bet on the games.
Suspicions were raised by Canadian journalist Declan Hill, whose book about betting rings is published in German next week.
He says the 2006 World Cup knock-out match between Brazil and Ghana in Dortmund was influenced by an Asian betting syndicate.
The syndicate, run by William Bee Wah Lim, was exposed for trying to influence several games in the German regional league and the Austrian first league. He was jailed for more than two years by a Frankfurt court in 2005.
The two new matches under scrutiny had not until now been considered suspicious.
But a 208-page document showing Lim's internet betting network shows a number of personal connections between him and the Kaiserslautern, Karlsruher and Siegen teams.
A joint statement from the DFL and DFB said that steps had been taken to engage an investigation firm to check betting movements. It also said, “Should it be necessary, the DFB legal committee will start immediate investigations, and make its decisions. Furthermore, the DFB and league association will, as in the past, support the responsible criminal authorities in their work should that be requested.”
German football is still reeling from the most serious crisis in its history in 2004 when
referee Robert Hoyzer admitted having received €70,000 to influence the results of 23 matches, mainly second and third division games in 2004.