Europol Uncovers Large Scale Football Match Fixing
A major investigation involving police forces from 13 European countries has found an extensive criminal network involved in Football match fixing.
The investigation has led to suspicion that 425 match officials, club officials, players and serious criminals from 15 countries were involved in attempts to fix over 380 professional football matches.
Most worrying is the suspicion that games in the World Cup and European Championship qualifiers as well as Champions League matches were fixed.
The betting syndicate behind the match fixing is believed to have mainly been betting on the Asian market, however, links were found with many other European crime organisations.
It is thought that over €2 million in payments were made to those involved in fixing the games with one individual receiving €140,000. It is thought that up to €700,000 profit was made from match fixing.
Another popular strategy is for crime syndicates to use companies to arrange international friendlies for national football associations. As many of these friendlies would take place without FIFA sanctioning, the company in charge could pick their own referee, allowing them to appoint a corrupt official.
Rob Wainwright, Europol director, believes that these finding are “just the tip of the iceberg”.