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Hundreds of European soccer games may have been fixed


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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) ? A wide-ranging match-fixing investigation has uncovered more than 380 suspicious matches ? including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games ? and found evidence that a Singapore-based crime group is closely involved in match-fixing.

"This is a sad day for European football," Rob Wainwright, head of the European Union police organization Europol, said Monday, referring to the sport Americans call soccer. He said the investigation uncovered "match-fixing activity on a scale we have not seen before."

The probe uncovered ?8 million ($10.9 million) in betting profits and ?2 million ($2.7 million) in bribes to players and officials and has already led to several prosecutions.

Wainwright said the involvement of organized crime "highlights a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe."

He said a Singapore-based criminal network was involved in the match fixing, spending up to ?100,000 ($136,500) per match to bribe players and officials.

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