POLICE HAVE SMASHED a criminal network suspected of fixing 380 football matches, including in the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers, Europol announced today.
“It is clear to us that this is the biggest investigation ever into suspected match fixing,” Europol chief Rob Wainwright told journalists.
At least 425 referees, players and other officials are 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 Turkish, German and Swiss championships, but other matches around the world are also concerned.
Two of Europe’s Champions League matches and some World Cup qualifiers are also suspected, Europol said. Europol showed television coverage of a suspect match, an international between Argentina and Bolivia, during which a Hungarian referee awards a highly dubious penalty.
More to follow