Four people suspected of being the ringleaders of European football's biggest fraud scandal go on Trial in Germany on Wednesday. According to the police probe, 32 games across Europe were allegedly fixed, mostly last season.
AFP - Four suspected ringleaders of what is believed to be European football's biggest fraud scandal went on trial in Germany on Wednesday, accused of fixing more than 30 matches across Europe.
The quartet, who have not been named, could be jailed for up to 10 years if found guilty of fraud in a trial that will question the integrity of lower league football across the continent.
The trial will focus on 32 games played in Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Switzerland, mostly last season, where it is alleged dozens of players or referees were bribed to influence the matches.
In total, police have investigated nearly 300 games in 15 countries in a surveillance operation which has spanned the continent.
Bets totalling two million euros (2.8 million dollars) are said to have been placed on the matches involved, resulting in winnings in the region of 1.6 million euros.
In Germany, the games in question involve a German Cup match, games in the national league's second division and regional leagues.
Most of the matches involved are from the lower divisions in the respective countries across Europe, but a Europa League and European Under-21 Championships qualifier have also also come under the spotlight.
In the Europa League, European football's second biggest domestic tournament behind the Champions League, a Group E match between FC Basel and CSKA Sofia on November 5, 2009, is under suspicion.
And an Under-21 qualifying international between Switzerland and Georgia on November 18, 2009, will also be part of the evidence against the quartet.
But the German Football Federation (DFB) look to have had their blushes spared as none of the games in question are in the Bundesliga, Germany's top domestic league.
Date created : 2010-10-06