FIFA gets chilling warning over match-fixing

Mon May 9, 2011 5:44pm GMT


Bochum police commissioner Friedhelm Althans told reporters: "Working in international drug trafficking is very dangerous, here they have a very low risk and earn more money than they earned years before by drug trafficking,"

Althans added there were "four, five or six" more criminal gangs currently active in Europe similar to the one which Bochum police smashed in 2009.

Prosecutors believe the 200-strong ring bribed players, coaches, referees and officials to fix games in a number of European countries and then made money by betting on the results.

Six people are currently on trial in Bochum and another 14 are expected to follow.

Althans said that in the Bochum investigation, alone, around 300 matches were under suspicion including internationals, Champions League qualifying games, Europa League games down to the German fourth division.

"Around 1.7 million euros was paid to players and referees and this is barely the tip of the iceberg," he said. "We have a new phenomenon of organised crime.

"There is indeed a worldwide network of people active in this field, it isn't just about pursuing individual clubs and players but about attacking the roots and drive out these worldwide networks."

Althans said that one problem was that sentences in some countries were too light.   Continued...

<p>A cameraman films in front of the main entrance of the Home of FIFA in Zurich October 20, 2010.REUTERS/Christian Hartmann</p>
Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.