German police force was investigating a possible drugs and prostitution racket. What they found instead was a massive fixing syndicate involving football clubs in Europe.
A report published in the Telegraph (United Kingdom) reveals how investigators from the organized task force in Bochum - a city in Western Germany known for its museums and art galleries - chanced upon conversations pertaining to football being fixed for money. When they delved deeper, they found an entire web of dense corruption in the sport.
In fact, officials from the police force have reportedly claimed that of the 380 suspicious games highlighted by Europol, 150 came from their findings and the information they uncovered. The report quotes a senior official as saying that high sums of money is involved. "We have evidence for 150 of these cases and the operations were run out of Singapore with bribes of up to 100,000 euros (£87,000) paid per match," said Friedhelm Althans.
The recent revelations of suspected fixing has taken the world by storm. Europe continues to be the powerhouse of international football but matches being allegedly rigged, including Liverpool's Champions League clash against Holland's Debrecen in 2009, has left fans shocked all over.
On Tuesday, an official statement from Debrecen however claimed that these suspicions are old and that goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic - suspected of spilling a strike from Fernando Torres in the contentious match - should have reported that he was approached to influence the match but had been cleared by the ensuing investigations. "In the view of the UEFA Disciplinary Committee, Vukasin Poleksic failed to comply with his duties when he did not report to Debrecen that before the two Champions League matches, unknown people tried to persuade him to influence the result. The investigation revealed that Poleksic rejected the requests. Furthermore, the probe found that the matches were not influenced by bribary," the statement read.
In that match, Liverpool had a 58% possession and had nine shots on target but only managed a winning margin of 1-0. A spokesperson from Liverpool has reportedly said however that no agency including Europol had approached them with regards to the Anfield match.
Story first published on: Wednesday, 06 February 2013 10:38 IST