Match Fixing by Asian Gambling Gangs Revealed by Europol

Published Thursday, February 07, 2013 -

It has been in the works for a while now and it has finally been revealed the extent to which match fixing corruption in organized soccer goes. The European Union's intelligence-sharing agency, Europol, recently announced the results of an alleged match-fixing conspiracy without sharing the details with football authorities.

The seriousness at the press conference in The Hague was obvious as the soccer world was told about, "hundreds of criminals and corrupted officials and players" across Europe, and "match-fixing on a scale we've not seen before." Chris Eaton FIFA’s former head of security claims organised crime groups are making hundreds of millions of pounds a year on the outcome of fixed football matches. Eaton, who left the FIFA organization in 2011, believes the Asian betting market is so sophisticated and government regulation so inept that it is attractive for those wanting to manipulate games for profit. Europol made the claim that a Singapore-based syndicate had fixed at least 380 games in Europe, profiting at least €8million in the process.

Europol's director, Rob Wainwright, said at the press conference that, "A total of 425 match officials, club officials, players and serious criminals, from more than 15 countries, are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix … professional football matches. The activities formed part of a sophisticated organised crime operation, which generated over €8m in betting profits and involved over €2m in corrupt payments to those involved in the matches," Europol's intentions became clear when Wainwright made the comment, "This is a sad day for European football and more evidence of the corrupting influence in society of organised crime. But this investigation also proves the value of international police co-operation in fighting back against the criminals involved."

This international story points out the extent to which organized crime has infiltrated the football family and how difficult the problem is to correct. The crime bosses have the money and manpower to corrupt the sport and destroy what was a beautiful game enjoyed by millions around the world.

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