Europol: 380 matches fixed across Europe

Updated: Monday, 04 Feb 2013 14:02

A Europol investigation has uncovered evidence that the results of over 380 football matches across Europe were fixed.

Overall, Europol claims match-fixing has taken place in 15 countries with 50 people arrested to date - a total of 425 people are suspected of involvement.

An unnamed Champions League fixture in England is one of the matches investigators believe was fixed by an Asia-based crime syndicate.

The results of World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and "several top football matches in European leagues" are also thought to have been fixed.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol - the European Union's law enforcement agency, said at a press conference in The Hague: "This is the work of a suspected organised crime syndicate based in Asia and operated with criminal networks around Europe.

"It is clear to us this is the biggest-ever investigation into suspected match-fixing in Europe. It has yielded major results which we think have uncovered a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe.

"We have uncovered an extensive criminal network."

"We have uncovered an extensive criminal network" - Rob Wainright.

Wainwright revealed the scale of the corruption in Germany where €16 million was wagered on matches in the country with payments of €2 million believed to have paid to those involved.

Europol would not reveal the identity of the Champions League match staged in the UK under suspicion due to "ongoing judicial proceedings" - he did confirm it had taken place in the last three to four years.

He added: "The focus has been on other countries, not the United Kingdom. However we were surprised by the scale generally of the criminal enterprise and just how widespread it was.

"It would be naive and complacent of those in the UK to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe."

A UEFA spokesman confirmed they would co-operate with the investigation.

He said: "We will be liaising with Europol in relation to any reports of match fixing in European competition."