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11/21/09 – More details are starting to emerge on Friday's assertion by German prosecutors that a major international police action against football match-fixing is currently in progress across Europe.
European media are widely reporting that as many as 200 suspects could be involved in fixing or tried to fix approximately the same number of matches across Europe, including three in the Champions League, in what UEFA called the biggest betting scandal in Europe yet seen.
Police in Germany, Britain, Austria and Switzerland staged simultaneous raids, arresting 17 as yet unidentified people and seizing one million Euros in cash or goods as part of an investigation into the suspected manipulation of games across nine European leagues.
Bochum police in Germany said at a news conference late Friday that 200 people were suspected of being part of the ring that tried to rig about 200 matches.
Some 32 matches in Germany's lower divisions as well as dozens of first or second division matches in Turkey, Bosnia, Hungary, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia are under investigation, they revealed.
The investigation, which unearthed what UEFA representative Peter Limacher called Europe's biggest-ever betting scam, included only matches played in 2009.
"We at UEFA are stunned by the magnitude of this," Limacher told reporters.