A Champions League tie played in England is one of 380 matches across Europe investigators say was fixed. However, European police did not reveal the identity of the match they believe was corrupt in England.
Speaking in The Hague, Europol said that they had uncovered an organised crime syndicate based in Asia that was co-ordinating the operation, with around425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals under suspicion.
Europol, which has been investigating for 18 months, said suspected matches included World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League ties and “several top football matches in European leagues”.
They said that criminals put €16m on rigged matches and made €8m in profits. Payments of €2m are thought to have been paid to those involved, while investigators said that the biggest payment to an individual was €140,000.
Europol believes a crime syndicate based in Asia was liaising with criminal networks throughout Europe. It believes match-fixing has taken place in 15 countries and 50 people have so far been arrested. Officials said they feared this was the “tip of the iceberg”.
More from Europol Investigators On Match Fixing In Europe after the Jump………
“This is the work of a suspected organised crime syndicate based in Asia and operated with criminal networks around Europe,” Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, said.
“It is clear to us this is the biggest-ever investigation into suspected match-fixing in Europe. It has yielded major results which we think have uncovered a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe. We have uncovered an extensive criminal network.”
Wainwright would not reveal the identity of the Champions League match staged in the UK under suspicion due to “ongoing judicial proceedings” but he did confirm it had taken place in the last three to four years and admitted it was not a country under particular scrutiny.
He added: “The focus has been on other countries, not the United Kingdom. However we were surprised by the scale generally of the criminal enterprise and just how widespread it was.
“It would be naive and complacent of those in the UK to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe.”
A Uefa spokesman said: “We will be liaising with Europol in relation to any reports of match fixing in European competition.”