Chinese gangs accused of match-fixing
Canadian investigative reporter Declan Hill says Chinese gangs in Amsterdam and Rotterdam have bribed first division football players to influence the outcome of matches at the behest of influential Asian gambling operators.The Netherlands - Canadian investigative reporter Declan Hill says Chinese gangs in Amsterdam and Rotterdam have bribed first division football players to influence the outcome of matches at the behest of influential Asian gambling operators.
De Volkskrant writes that Hill’s accusations are based on conversations with sources in the Asian gambling world. The Dutch football association KNVB is taking the matter seriously. Director Hans Kesler says: “If there is reason, we will investigate any match.”
Declan Hill, who has done five years’ worth of global research into bribery in football, says the Dutch teams in question are lower-ranking First Division teams which in the past few weeks deliberately lost away matches by a wide margin. He says he knows the names of the teams and the suspect results, but will only mention them in his book, which is scheduled to be published ahead of the World Football Championships in 2010. In AD, Mr Hill says the Asian mafia are also involved in match-fixing Premier League games between small clubs.
KNVB Director Kesler says the accusations have taken him by surprise, but added he cannot rule out that professional teams in Dutch football have been bribed. “No system is watertight. The underworld always succeeds in finding loopholes in the law.”
The European football union UEFA is wrapping up its investigation into 40 matches in national and international competitions. Most of the teams under investigation are from Eastern Europe, but Belgian Karl Dhont, who leads the investigation, says he is sure bribery also occurs among Western European teams.