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UEFA probe football match-fixing incident

Goal.com
Nov 21, 2009 at 12:56pm IST

New Delhi: Following UEFA's press conference on Friday, the governing body has confirmed that they are working alongside the German authorities in an investigation into around 200 European football matches.

A criminal gang is believed to have bribed players, coaches, referees and officials to fix matches and then placed bets on the outcome. It is also believed that all the matches took place this year.

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Raids were carried out by police in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Austria on Thursday, seizing cash and property worth more than €1m.

TIME TO FIND OUT: UEFA representative Peter Limacher at Bochum police headquarters in Germany.

UEFA stated that they are actively involved in the inquiry and have given assistance via detailed information through its Betting Fraud Detection System. This system monitors all UEFA competitions and all matches in the first and second divisions in Europe for suspicious betting patterns.

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A UEFA statement reported that: "Of the matches concerned the vast majority are domestic league matches in nine countries, under the jurisdiction of the authorities and national football associations concerned.

"The small number of matches that do involve European football, 12 UEFA Europa League and 3 UEFA Champions League matches, are all early qualifying round games. More information will be given on which matches are concerned at a later date."

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The nine countries believed to be under investigation are Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Austria. It has since been reported that a number of matches in the Greek second division are also being probed.

Gianni Infantino, UEFA's General Secretary, added that any guilty parties would be given the "harshest of sanctions".

"Firstly, I would like to thank the German authorities for their action and for the good collaboration. This case proves that it is possible for a state investigative authority to work closely together with a sports governing body when it comes to corruption or match fixing, and it is gratifying to see that the Betting Fraud Detection System endorsed by the UEFA President, Michel Platini, is already bearing fruit.

"We will continue our battle against any form of corruption in European football with a mission of zero tolerance. UEFA will be demanding the harshest of sanctions before the competent courts for any individuals, clubs or officials who are implicated in this malpractice, be it under state or sports jurisdiction."

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