Four detained over suspected match-fixing in Moldova

Law enforcement agency Europol said it was supporting Moldova's national anti-corruption centre in dismantling an organised crime group involved in the fixing.

Football

Europol said criminals would influence the outcome of the games and bet mostly in Asian markets.   -  Getty Images

Half of the teams in Moldova's top football league have been involved in match fixing and four suspects have already been detained, the European Union law enforcement agency Europol and Moldavian anti-corruption officials said on Wednesday.

"Club executives, coaches, managers, football players and other intermediates are believed to be part of the network," Europol said in a statement, adding that nearly 20 football matches might have been fixed in the current 2020-2021 season.

It said criminals would influence the outcome of the games and bet mostly in Asian markets. Bets amounted between 10,000 and 20,000 euros for a single fixed match, with the criminal profits estimated at 600,000 euros ($725,000).

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Europol said it was supporting Moldova's national anti-corruption centre in dismantling an organised crime group involved in the fixing.

The anti-corruption centre said it suspected 11 people of bribing players and fixing the results of matches.

Football authorities declined to comment.

Maia Sandu, a former World Bank economist who favours closer ties with the European Union, defeated the pro-Moscow incumbent Igor Dodon in last month's Moldavian presidential election, promising to fight corruption in the tiny republic.

The eastern European country of 3.5 million, where the West and Russia vie for influence, has been rocked in recent years by instability and corruption scandals, including the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system.