Willem II at centre of match-fixing probe

Dutch Eredivisie top-tier football club Willem II is currently at the centre of a match-fixing row after a newspaper in the country reported that two of the team’s games in the 2009-10 season were fixed by an Asian gambling syndicate.

The De Volkskrant newspaper reported that match-fixers from Singapore paid players a total of €100,000 ($115,000) per match to lose games with a certain goal difference.

The matches mentioned in the report were Willian II’s trip to Ajax in October 2009 and the away game at Feyenoord in December of the same year.

The report said that the first match went to plan with at least three goals difference, which in turn led to the fixers earning approximately €1 million in the betting market.

However, the second match did not run to the agreed scoreline, with Willem II not losing by a two-goal margin.

The newspaper only mentioned one player in direct connection with the case in the form of midfielder Ibrahim Kargo, who has since left the club.

Kargo has acknowledged that he was approached to fix matches but never actually took part in such activities.

The KNVB, Dutch football’s governing body, has said the report is the “most concrete match-fixing case ever in the Netherlands” and has called for a criminal investigation.

De Volkskrant also noted that it based its report on interviews with three match-fixers.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK has confirmed that a case against 13 footballers being investigated over alleged spot-fixing has been dropped due to “insufficient evidence”.

As reported by iGaming Business, the case first began in November 2013 when six men were arrested as part of the investigation.

In April last year, seven players from Football League clubs were also arrested in connection with alleged spot-fixing, with another six also being re-arrested.

The case came to light after information gathered during an undercover investigation carried out by the Sun on Sunday newspaper.

However, the CPS has now ruled that there is not enough evidence to “provide a realistic prospect of conviction”.

The CPS came to this decision after having looked at the “reliability of the evidence” in light of the collapse of the trial of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos.

In a statement, the CPS said: “The reliability of the evidence of one alleged witness in particular had to be very carefully considered in light of recent events in the trial of R-v-Contostavlos and Coombs.

“This was not the only evidence that was considered and when all the evidence submitted by investigators was carefully reviewed in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.”

source : www.igamingbusiness.com

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