It may not have rocked the European football landscape to its core, yet it wasn’t far off. Match-fixing in the game is no shock, it’s happened recently in Italy, Germany, and reports are frequent enough from Eastern Europe, but the prevailing consensus was that it happened infrequently and most importantly at the lower league levels of the game, far away from the glitz and glam of major European competition. Not anymore. While the majority of cases are still in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the Europol investigation Monday reports widespread match-fixing with 680 games named suspicious including World Cup and European qualifiers, as well as two UEFA Champions League fixtures.
Yet for all its other multitude of issues, it appears that match-fixing is not prevalent in La Liga. Chief Inspector of the German police, Friedheim Althans, said: “In no cases investigated were there manipulations in Spain’s La Liga, neither are their clubs implicated, nor Spanish referees”.
The innocence of the game, regarding match manipulation, on a global level may now be irrevocably damaged, though some perhaps less naïve to the situation were already looking at certain results recently and wondering. Lyon 7 – Dinamo Zagreb 1?
Either way, Chief Inspector Althans’ words are good news for Spain, La Liga and FC Barcelona.
Source: El MundoDeportivo; Image Credit: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images