Singapore joins match-fixing probeLONDON - Singapore, which European investigators say is the source for hundreds of soccer matches being fixed in a global betting scam, promised on Tuesday to aid the probe but some in the game said many of the revelations were nothing new.
About 680 suspicious matches including qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championships, and the Champions League for top European club sides, have been identified in an inquiry by European police forces, the European anti-crime agency Europol and national prosecutors.
“The authorities in Singapore are assisting the European authorities in their investigations into an international match-fixing syndicate that purportedly involves Singaporeans,” the Southeast Asian city-state’s police said in a statement.
“Singapore takes a strong stance against match-fixing and is committed to working with international enforcement agencies to bring down transnational criminal syndicates, including those that involve the acts of Singaporeans overseas, and protect the integrity of the sport.”
Investigators said about 380 of the suspicious matches were played in Europe, and a further 300 were identified in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The fixing could also include top-flight national league matches in several European countries, as well as two Champions League matches, including one played in Britain.
Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet said that match was Hungarian side Debrecen’s 2009 Champions League group match against Liverpool.
The report caused barely a ripple at Debrecen who said on Tuesday that it was merely raking over old ground.
Ekstra Bladet said match fixers intended to rig the betting market for total goals in the European club clash, which Liverpool won 1-0, and targeted Debrecen’s Montenegrin goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic.
Debrecen, however, said these allegations have already been dealt with by European soccer’s governing body UEFA and Poleksic was given a two-year ban in 2010 for failing to report approaches from alleged fixers ahead of matches against Liverpool and Serie A side Fiorentina in Hungary.
The scourge of match fixing, according to one coach who was banned for helping to throw matches, will not go away quickly.