German federation suspends assistant referee

BY foxsports • December 22, 2009

The German football federation on Tuesday suspended an assistant referee during an investigation into whether he may have participated in match-fixing.

Cetin Sevinc is being investigated by Bochum for possible game manipulations, according to the federation.

"We were informed of the charges against Cetin Sevinc and all of the relevant information from the Bochum prosecutor's office has been made available to us," Rainer Koch, the DFB vice president in charge of referees, said in a statement. "Of course, Mr. Sevinc is innocent until proven guilty, but until the investigation is completed, we won't be using him for both his personal protection and the protection of the current competition."

The 27-year-old Sevinc was unable to be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, the DFB said that it saw no irregularities in a second-division match that came under scrutiny because of conspicuous betting patterns shortly before kickoff.

German football authorities looked into the possibility of manipulation after an investigation disclosed 32 games that are believed to have been fixed by a gang of bettors, all in the second or lower divisions.

The prosecutors have not given any names of the people suspected of the manipulation of 200 matches on behalf of an international betting syndicate in what football officials say is the biggest match-fixing scandal to hit Europe.

Prosecutors say the gang is suspected of bribing players, coaches, referees and other officials to manipulate games so that it could make money by betting on the fixed games. About 200 people are suspected of being involved and the ring leaders are believed to have made at least ?10 million ($15 million).

The prosecutor's office in Bochum, which specializes in fighting organized crime, has declined to give details about its ongoing investigation besides saying that 15 people have been arrested in Germany and two in Switzerland, one of whom has been released.

No one answered the phone Tuesday afternoon.

Sevinc officiated five times during the last season in regional matches, and assisted five times in the second division. He also worked during two first division and one third division game. He was supposed to work this past weekend in a match between SV Wilhelmshaven and VfL Wolfsburg II, but the game was called off because of weather.

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