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Match-fixing scandal: 270 matches under suspicion

Berlin: An investigation into suspected football match-fixing now covers 270 matches in several
countries and more than 250 people, German prosecutors said
on Wedneday.

Prosecutors in Bochum first announced the investigation
last November, saying at the time that about 200 games and 200
people were under suspicion - prompting a UEFA official to say
it was probably the biggest match-fixing scandal in Europe.

In today`s update, they said that investigations so far
have allowed suspicions of match-fixing to be "further
substantiated."

They suspect that some euro1.5 million (USD 1.9 million)
was paid in bribes to referees, players and others and that
profits from manipulated bets amounted to euro7.5 million,
according to a statement.

The total value of bets placed on matches that may have
been manipulated is believed to be about euro12 million.

Those numbers are likely to rise because investigations
to date indicate that many people were used to place bets with
different bookmakers across Europe in order to cover up the
suspects` activities, prosecutors said.

They added that, for example, some 6,000 bets with a
total value of euro32.5 million via a single Asian bookmaker
in Britain, which wasn`t identified, could be attributed to
the group under suspicion. Not all those bets were on suspect
matches.

The investigation now covers 53 matches in Germany; 19 in
Belgium; 35 in Switzerland; 15 in Croatia; seven in Slovenia;
74 in Turkey; 14 in Hungary; eight in Bosnia; 12 in Austria;
and 33 games in international competitions.

Prosecutors didn`t name specific matches and also didn`t
identify any of the people under investigation.

Eight people remain in detention awaiting charges in
Germany, prosecutors said. So far, they added, there have been
three arrests in Switzerland, 22 in Croatia and about 70 in
Turkey.

"The extremely complex investigations will take a long
time yet," prosecutors said, although they added that
authorities expect to start filing charges "shortly".

"All relevant information" is being exchanged with other
countries involved, such as Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary,
Bosnia, Austria and Britain, they said.

The prosecutors` office in Bochum is Germany`s leading
authority on fighting corruption and fraud.

Bureau Report

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