European police warned that the integrity of football was at stake, as they revealed they had smashed a criminal network fixing hundreds of matches, including in the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers.

Europol said a five-country probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by a Singapore-based betting cartel, whose illegal activities stretched to players, referees and officials across the world at all levels of the game.

“It is clear to us that this is the biggest investigation ever into suspected match fixing,” Europol chief Rob Wainwright told a news conference in The Hague, adding that the fall-out hit at the heart of the world game’s reputation.

 

“It is the work of a sophisticated organised crime syndicate based in Asia and working with criminal facilitators around Europe,” said Wainwright.

 

He added: “Matchfixing is a significant threat to football… involving a broad community of actors. Illegal profits are More >