Is European soccer now tainted?
AP: German prosecutors investigating match-fixing in soccer say 15 people in Germany and two in Switzerland have been arrested and about 200 games in Europe are under suspicion.
Police said more than 50 raids have been conducted in Switzerland, Germany and Britain, and documents, $1.48 million in cash and other valuables have been seized.
Authorities believe they have arrested the leaders of the gang suspected of manipulating games to make money on betting. No identities were released, although they said about 200 people are involved.
The alleged scheme was a classic one. The criminal ring is accused of paying players, coaches, referees and officials from soccer leagues to throw games that were bet on by the crooks. They apparently made $14.82 million from the fixed matches.
According to the AP, games in nine European countries are believed to have been manipulated, although none in soccer powerhouses England, Spain, Italy, or France. Countries involved are Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia and Austria.
But it appears three Champions League games and 12 Europa League games were manipulated this year.
UEFA said it “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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