FIFA investigates match-fixing claims
Football's ruling body FIFA is investigating claims that over 300
matches on three continents were influenced by match-fixers, The Daily
Telegraph reported Friday.
FIFA suspects match officials were paid as little as $10,000 to help
engineer specific results in international friendly matches and European
club games, netting fixers hundreds of millions of dollars on Asian
"The threat from match-fixing to the integrity of the global game is
significant," Chris Eaton, FIFA's head of security, confirmed to the
"Interviews with those involved have told us that fixers can spend
upwards of $300,000 to stage a friendly international and they do that
with the expectation of a significant profit margin," the former
Interpol official added.
Eaton told the Telegraph he believed fixers had made "tens of
millions of dollars" in profit.
Employees from at least six different national football associations
are under suspicion of assisting the criminal network, which is thought
to work out of Singapore and Malaysia.
FIFA fear the upcoming under-17 and under-20 World Championships are
at risk. "We have admissions from those we are focusing on that they
have been planning to target younger players at the under-17 and
under-20 level," Eaton told the broadsheet.
"That is enough to make me concerned that we need to put preventative
measures in place," he added.
Matches under suspicion include club games in Germany and Finland,
Europa League fixtures and friendly internationals involving Kuwait,
Jordan, Bolivia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
A friendly game between Bahrain and Togo came to the world's
attention after the African country denied sending a team, and were
instead represented by amateurs who struggled to last the full game.