The European Union police agency has announced that they have found evidence of match fixing across European and world football.
Europol have confirmed that they believe as many as 380 professional matches in Europe are involved in a match-fixing scheme that is ‘a big problem for the integrity of European football’. A total of 680 games across 30 countries worldwide are under investigation.
Specific games have not been listed at this time, but Europol confirmed that they do include World Cup and European Championship qualification matches, as well as from the Champions League and ‘several top games’ from European Leagues across 15 countries on the continent.
The majority of games in question are believed to have taken place in Leagues in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany.
Around 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals are suspected of involvement in the gambling ring, which Europol say included bets totalling €16m placed for a total €8m profit. It is alleged that payments of €2m were made to those involved, with the biggest single amount to an individual in Austria posted as €140,000.
“This is the work of a suspected organised crime syndicate based in Asia and operated with criminal networks around Europe,” Europol director Rob Wainwright told reporters today.
“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.”