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Soccer match-fixing alleged in Canada
A European crime syndicate running a match-fixing operation bribed Canadian soccer players to rig a semi-professional game, wiretaps allegedly reveal.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported exclusively Wednesday the bribes targeted a 2009 game between teams from Trois-Rivieres and Toronto teams of the Canadian Soccer League. The news network said the bribes were revealed in police wiretaps it obtained from a major sports-fixing case being heard in a German court.
The CBC said the wiretaps show the crime syndicate paid about $18,000 to several players on the Toronto Croatia team to control their performances during a Sept. 12, 2009, game in Trois-Rivieres.
Former Trois-Rivieres player Reda Aggouram told CBC News he was unaware any Toronto Croatia players were in the mob’s pocket, but remembers scoring an easy goal.
“I remember my goal, it was the free kick for us,” Aggouram said. “One of our players took the free kick, and then the goalie, he didn’t punch it away, he punched it in front of the net, and then I took the rebound.”
The German court found the crime syndicate had manipulated a number of games, including a Champions League match and a 2010 World Cup qualifier.
Six people have been convicted in the European case, which also included games in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Turkey, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.
No one has been charged in Canada, the CBC said.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International