France not affected by match-fixing scandal, says Europol

PARIS Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:54am IST

Diagram illustrating how the soccer match-fixing syndicate works. REUTERS

Diagram illustrating how the soccer match-fixing syndicate works.

Credit: Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Europol's investigation into a global soccer match-fixing scandal has not revealed any suspicious games in French competitions, the European anti-crime agency said.

The French league (LFP) on Wednesday released Europol's written response to LFP president Frederic Thiriez, who had asked if any of the roughly 680 suspicious games identified by the European inquiry had taken place in France.

"I am pleased to tell you that France is not one of the host countries of matches suspected to have been fixed," Michael Rauschenbach, head of Serious and Organised Crime at Europol, said in his letter published on the League website.

"I am also happy to reassure you that should intelligence of this nature indicate suspicions of match-fixing in France in the future, then Europol will seek to engage with the relevant law enforcement authorities in France as a matter of urgency."

A joint inquiry by Europol and national prosecutors have identified several hundred suspicious soccer matches, including qualifying games for the World Cup and the European Championship, and for Europe's Champions League.

Singapore is believed to be the source of the global betting scam, according to the European authorities.

(Writing by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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