2009 European football betting scandal
The 2009 European football betting scandal was an attempt to influence the outcome of professional association football matches in Europe, and to defraud the gambling industry by betting on the results. The investigation centres on around two-hundred fixtures, including domestic league games in nine European countries: Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Austria. It also involved twelve qualifying matches in the UEFA Europa League, and three in the UEFA Champions League. Peter Limacher, a spokesman for European football's governing body UEFA, described it as "the biggest match-fixing scandal ever to hit Europe."
UEFA revealed in March 2009 that they were bringing charges against an unnamed European club, later revealed to be Macedonian side FK Pobeda. Pobeda were found guilty of match-fixing in a tie against Armenian club Pyunik in 2004. As a consequence, the club was handed an eight-year ban from all European competitions, and club president Aleksandar Zabrčanec and former captain Nikolce Zdravevski were given lifetime European football bans. UEFA president Michel Platini revealed that his organisation were stepping up their efforts to eradicate match fixing in the game, and that 27,000 fixtures would be monitored in the 2009–10 season.
Investigation and arrests
The fraud was discovered through telephone tapping of organized crime activities and has been investigated by the Prosecutorial Office at Bochum, Germany. On 19 November 2009 a series of raids were conducted in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in relation to the betting investigation. They resulted in fifteen arrests in Germany, and a further two in Switzerland, as well as the seizure of cash and property.
Brothers and Croatian Café King owners Ante, Cirko and Milan Sapina were at the centre of the investigation in Germany. On 28 November 2009 Patrick Neumann, captain of SC Verl confessed to his involvement in the scandal, and implicated the FC Gütersloh striker Daniel Telenga. Neumann was suspended after a statement from his club.
Matches investigated by UEFA
All matches under investigation were played in 2009.
|Competition or country||Number of games investigated||Level or round of competition|
|UEFA Champions League||3||Qualifying rounds|
|UEFA Europa League||12||Qualifying rounds|
|Germany||32||2. Bundesliga, 3. Liga, Regionalliga, and Oberliga|
|Hungary||13||Hungarian National Championship I|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||8||Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Austria||11||Austrian Bundesliga and First League|
|UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship||Unknown||Unknown|
UEFA revealed on 25 November 2009 that seven matches played in UEFA competitions would be investigated in further detail, and that five clubs were under investigation; KF Tirana, FC Dinaburg, KS Vllaznia, NK IB Ljubljana and Budapest Honvéd. It also revealed that it was conducting its own investigation of three referees and one other individual connected with UEFA in relation to these games.
- "UEFA statement on match-fixing case". UEFA. 20 November 2009. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.[dead link]
- Gibson, Owen (20 November 2009). "Europe hit by 'biggest-ever' match-fixing scandal". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Match-fixing inquiry probes 200 European football games". BBC. 20 November 2009. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Uefa to bring match-fixing charges against mystery club". London: The Guardian. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Match-fix ban for Macedonian club". BBC Sport. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Press release, Prosecutorial Office, Bochum" (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Verl-Spieler geben Spiel-Manipulation zu" (in German). Sport Bild. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
- "Erstes Geständnis im Wettskandal" (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Gütersloh suspendiert Spieler" (in German). Westfalen-Blatt. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "UEFA, FAs discuss match-fixing inquiry". UEFA. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.[dead link]