European match fixing scandal starts in Bochum Germany

The European match fixing trial led by German prosecutors has started in western Germany.

Only four men have been charged and appeared in court accused of fixing a total of 32 games in several cities in Europe.

The four men which appeared in court in Bochum, German are only tip of the iceberg according to officials and several more suspects are expected to be charged in relation with the massive match fixing scandal which emerged last year.

The four men if convicted could face up to 10 years in prison while at least eleven more people have are expected to be charged after police tapped into telephone conversations by the suspects.

Police have over 250 suspects from various countries.

German prosecutors believe at least 290 games including three Champions League games were involved in the match fixing scandal which rocked the world’s most popular sport with most of the teams involved being lower divisions.

Turkey was one of the most effected country by the gang, with at least 70 games under suspicion with many German and Swedish games also under investigation.

However prosecutors have said that over 15 countries have been affected and some games in Asia were also amongst them.

The accused men are believed to have bribed footballers, referees and even managers to throw matches, sometimes even demanding a certain score.

They then went to betting officers or made huge sums of bets over the Internet on the games making millions of Euros in the process.

German authorities have also stressed the difficulty around the case because of the lack of cooperation by some of the countries where match fixing was involved and the laws of the countries.

Many techniques were used by officers including looking at unusual betting trends.

Many of the countries involved in the scandal have also launched their own investigations including Turkey where many prominent football stars both past and present, managers and even the chairman of a second division side were questioned by police.

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