Soccer match-fixing scandal thought to be Europe’s biggest ever

German prosecutors and European soccer body UEFA have revealed the magnitude of a continent-wide match-fixing scandal, which they said involved as many as 200 matches in competitions including the Champions League, reads a Deutsche Welle report. The full extent of a Europe-wide soccer match-fixing scandal was made public on Friday, when European soccer officials and German public prosecutors announced that more than 200 people were under investigation over a bribery racket that fixed or tried to fix around 200 matches across Europe and spanned nine domestic leagues, as well as the Champions League and new Europa League. If confirmed, the revelations would make this betting and match-fixing scandal one of the largest ever uncovered in European sporting history.

Prosecutors from the German city of Bochum told a press conference Friday that the probe was looking into matches played in the top-flight leagues of Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey, as well as the second divisions in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

At least three games in the European Champions League – the most prestigious international club competition at the European level – and 12 matches in the Europa League are also under investigation for manipulation.

UEFA spokesperson Peter Limacher said he was pleased with the efficiency of the international investigation, but was nonetheless dismayed at the revelations.

“On the other hand we at UEFA are deeply shocked by the extent of the orchestrated manipulation carried out by international gangs,” he told the press conference.

German daily Berliner Morgenpost reported that the central figures in the match-fixing ring were believed to be based in the German capital Berlin, and were suspected of involvement in a prior soccer manipulation scandal centered on former German referee Robert Hoyzer.

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