Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Match fixing investigation questions the integrity of football (Soccer for my American pple)

The integrity of football is at stake as one of the biggest investigation ever into suspected match fixing was reported Monday by European police. 
In the investigation, the police revealed the huge criminal network involved in fixing 100s of matches, including Champions League,  and even World Cup qualifiers. 

The Europol revealed that a 5-county probe had identified about 380 matches targeted by a Singapore-based betting cartel, the illegal activities stretched to players, referees and officials all over the world and at various levels of football.
Europol chief Rob Wainwright told a news conference in The Hague -"It is clear to us that this is the biggest investigation ever into suspected match fixing,”
He also added-"It is the work of a sophisticated organized crime syndicate based in Asia and working with criminal facilitators around Europe," Wainwright.
Following the series of investigations by Europol, 14 people have been sentenced to a total of 39 years in prison, and over 100 prosecutions are expected.
Europol also claimed 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.

While it is yet unconfirmed, 2 of Europe's Champions League matches and some World Cup qualifiers are also suspected, Europol said. The investigations are still on-going and when they are completed, the names of the teams will be released.

The investigation which was done mainly by Europol and 5 European Countries namely Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, and Finland also identified over 300 suspicious matches outside Europe in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, Europol said.
Belgian coach Paul Put, who currently the head coach for Burkina Faso was not very surprised by the reports from Europol as he is one of the very few coaches banned for match fixing for which he served a 3-year ban in Belgium which expired in 2011.