New betting scandal rocks German football

10th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 March 2006, FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for four people in connection with a new betting scandal that rocked German football on Friday three months before the World Cup finals.

10 March 2006

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for four people in connection with a new betting scandal that rocked German football on Friday three months before the World Cup finals.

Frankfurt prosecutor Thomas Bechtel said the accused faced charges of conspiracy to commit fraud for trying to manipulate games in the German second division and regional leagues.

Reports said the gang had tried to bribe players to obtain a desired result in games on which the suspects had placed bets. Second division club Sportfreunde Siegen and regional league team 1. FC Eschborn were said to be linked to the scam.

"We don't believe there were any attempts to manipulate the results of games involving teams in the first division of the Bundesliga," said Harald Stenger, press spokesman for the German Football Federation DFB.

The scandal comes on the heels of one last year which saw referee Robert Hoyzer sentenced to two years and five months in jail by a Berlin court in November for his involvement in match fixing and a betting scheme in the Bundesliga.

German football federation (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger expressed shock at the latest revelations, but said they did not have the dimensions of the Hoyzer case and no referees were involved this time.

The new disclosures are an embarrassment to Germany, coming just three months before it hosts the World Cup finals starting June 9.

Zwanziger said he did not expect any serious damage to Germany's image in the run up to soccer's biggest event.

"There is no need to fear any setbacks to our World Cup preparations as long as we conduct a thorough and transparent investigation," he said.

Information obtained from the investigation revealed that the gang had sought to manipulate the results of five matches in order to win bets they had placed, mainly abroad.

A spokesman for Sportfreunde Siegen said Friday that the club's 30-year-old Bosnian goalkeeper Adnan Masic had been questioned by police about a meeting he had with one of the accused in February.

Media reports said an Eschborn defender had been offered 40,000 euros (48,000 dollars) by the gang to throw a match against rival FC Augsburg last November. The match was postponed twice because of bad weather and has not been played yet.

DPA

Subject: German news

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