Australian betting on football club suspended

Thu Feb 7, 2013 11:35pm EST
 

By James Grubel

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Bookmakers suspended betting on an Australian Rules club on Friday due to doping claims, as police warned of significant match-fixing risks due to large Asian betting pools, citing A$40 million in wagers on one local soccer match.

Australia's top criminal intelligence body said on Thursday that organised crime had a growing influence over local sport and that the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs increased the risks of match-fixing.

Authorities have confirmed one potentially fixed match, but will not identify the sport. Officials from the local Australian Rules football organisation (AFL), and the Football Federation of Australia (FFA), which runs soccer, have said there are currently no match-fixing investigations underway.

Police would not confirm whether they had any match-fixing investigations underway, adding they would not necessarily notify sporting bodies due to sensitive information, often gained through telephone intercepts.

An FFA spokesman on Friday said they were looking to identify the 2012 soccer match which attracted the $40 million Asian in bets.

"It is understood the FFA is looking into identifying the match relating to this betting plunge but has received no information relating to a breach of integrity in any of its matches," the spokesman said.

European police on Monday revealed a global football betting scam, involving a Singapore-based syndicate which had directed match-fixing for at least 380 soccer games in Europe alone, making at least eight million euros ($11 million).

About 680 suspicious matches including qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championships, and the Champions League for top European club sides, were identified in an inquiry by European police forces.   Continued...