European Union’s policy agency, Europol, has announced that organized crime gangs have tried to fix or did fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world.
In recent years, these organized crime gangs have fixed World Cup qualifiers, European Championship qualifiers, and UEFA Champions League games, among others.
ESPN reported on Monday that the Europol had a 16 month investigation and found out that 380 games in Europe were suspicious of being fixed. Another 300 are also suspected outside of the continent, which includes Africa, Asia, South America, and Central America.
The director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, stated that these gangs have cashed so much money on game fixing that it threatens the integrity of the game.
ESPN reported that 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals from at least 15 different countries were involved in fixing soccer games since 2008. So far, 50 people have already been arrested.
Europol also did not release any information on what exact games or events were fixed as well as individuals. The organization did not want to compromise on-going investigations across the globe.
Still, countries like Germany are heavily under the scope as well as prestigious tournaments like the UEFA Champions League.
Europol has also reported that they believe that the ring leaders are Asian organized gangs that are in cahoots with European personel that are corrupt.
The circuit is also believed to be world-wide, including organizations from Africa and across Central and South America.
It is believed that players, officials, and many others have been forced to be bribed.
With this in mind, FIFA will reprimand individuals that have been involved in this corruption; however, it is powerless against the organizations that are outside of soccer organizations.
Eventually, police forces from across the world will have to unite to take down these corruptors that are threating to defame the most beautiful sport in the world.