Authorities: 17 arrests in match-fixing probe

BY foxsports • November 20, 2009

German prosecutors investigating match-fixing in football say 15 people in Germany and two in Switzerland have been arrested and that about 200 games in Europe are affected in what an UEFA representative called the biggest match-fixing scandal in Europe.

Police said more than 50 raids have been conducted in Switzerland, Germany and Britain and that documents, cash and 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 suspected of being involved.

The investigation began in January and has been supported by UEFA, Europe's governing body of football.

Peter Limacher, UEFA's representative who appeared at the news conference in Bochum, said he believed it was the biggest match-fixing scandal to ever hit Europe.

Games in nine European countries are believed to have been manipulated, although none in England, Spain, Italy or France.

The suspected games in Germany were played in the second-division or lower. Other countries involved are Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia and Austria.

Among the games believed to have been manipulated are three Champions League games and 12 Europa League games, all this year. Prosecutors did not specify whether those were qualifying games or group-round matches.

UEFA has previously said it is looking into 40 suspected matches in the Champions League and UEFA Cup - the predecessor for the Europa League - from the last four seasons, mostly involving eastern European clubs in the early qualifying rounds.

Authorities in Germany and elsewhere are working together with UEFA in the probe targeting an international gang .

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