Just how bad is match-fixing? Happens in up to 80 countries, says Interpol

Between 60 and 80 countries have reported allegations of match-fixing for each of the last three years.

“It is a global problem and it is showing no signs of abating," said John Abbot, the head of the Interpol-FIFA initiative to combat match fixing.

"We have evidence of organised crime groups in China, Russia, the Balkans, the United States and Italy making substantial money."

Abbott also claimed billions of dollars were involved, adding: “Sports governing bodies and football associations need to get real about prevention. "

Just how bad is the problem?

“The extent of the problem is that each year for the last three years between 60 and 80 countries have reported allegations of match-fixing," he said at the Soccerex Global Convention yesterday. 

Another two revelations were made:

1) An organised crime syndicate is running at least one professional European football club is being run through a front company

2) Match-fixers were targeting an Under-16 invitational friendly tournament in Hong Kong

Emanuel Medeiros, the head of the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security, told delegates that an organised crime syndicate was using a professional club as a front.

“I have evidence that this is the case but I cannot say which club or which country although these are legitimate questions,” he told reporters afterwards.

Not new

“This not new, we have been aware of these kinds of developments since 2003 but there is an ongoing police investigation. It’s a very serious matter.” 

Mark Sutcliffe, Hong Kong FA chief executive, said he was horrified to discover that match-fixers had targeted an Under-16 invitational friendly tournament in Hong Kong.

“If it is infiltrating that level of the game at that age group, it does not bear thinking about,” he said.

Source: Reuters