Over 380 Football Matches in Europe Were Fixed: Europol

The European Union's law enforcement agency, Europol, has claimed to have unearthed the largest football match-fixing scam in the continent.

On Monday, 4 February Europol held an international press conference and issued a press release.

While there were 380 matches under suspicion of match-fixing in Europe, the agency also said that it identified about 300 matches outside the continent.

In its press release, 'Results From the Largest Football Match-Fixing Investigation in Europe', it said that World Cup and European Championship qualification matches, two UEFA Champions League matches and several top-flight matches in European national leagues were among the 380 matches (or more) that were under the scanner. Additionally, another 300 suspicious matches were identified outside Europe, mainly in Africa, Asia, South and Central America.

About 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals, from more than 15 countries, are under the scanner for being involved in attempts to fix more than 380 professional football matches. 

It further said that the "activities" generated over €8 million in betting profits and involved over €2 million in corrupt payments to those involved in the matches.

“We have evidence for 150 of these cases and the operations were run out of Singapore with bribes of up to 100 000 euros paid per match. Even two World Championship Qualification matches in Africa, and one in Central America, are under suspicion,” says Fridhelm Althans from Bochum Police, Germany, and a spokesman for JIT Veto. This information will be shared with Interpol for further action in the context of its long-term efforts to work with a broad community around the world to crack down on this problem.

The investigation codenamed, Operation VETO (JIT Veto), was done between July 2011 and January 2013.

The agency, however, has not revealed details of any specific fixed matches.