News 9th October 2014

Swedish Council for Crime Prevention launches match-fixing investigation

Sweden’s Council for Crime Prevention (BRA) launched an investigation into match-fixing today, in partnership with the Swedish football association (SvFF), the Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) and state gambling operator, Svenska Spel. “Problems with match-fixing are very serious and are a matter of credibility for sport”, said Birgitta Ljung, RF General Secretary. “To effectively combat this, we need to gain more knowledge as a basis to work on”.

The investigation will focus on how match-fixing works and the actors involved. It is expected to be completed by summer 2015 and will examine:

  • What types of arrangement facilitate match-fixing;
  • In terms of logistics and financial flows, what do the organisational structures behind match-fixing look like?
  • What crime prevention and law enforcement actions are deemed to be most effective?

The investigation follows the airing of the first instalment of a two-part documentary investigating match fixing on 8 October by state broadcaster, SVT. The second part of the documentary will air on 15 October.

On 10 September, the SvFF filed a police report in connection with suspected match-fixing during a second division (Superettan) game between Jönköpings Södra IF and Syrianska FC on 25 August. It also began disciplinary proceedings against a player in connection with a September 2013 third division game. The SvFF said it was alerted to match-fixing problems after receiving reports of abnormal betting patterns from UEFA and Svenska Spel.

Sweden’s gambling regulator, the Lotteriiinspektionen, published a joint report into match-fixing in the Nordic Countries in September 2013. The report was produced in partnership with the Norwegian gambling regulator (Lotteritilsynet) and the Finnish National Police Board Gambling Administration (Poliisihallitus). It highlighted a number of aspects that had the potential to make Nordic countries susceptible to match-fixing, including the prevalence of smaller sports and lower pay than other European leagues. ‘Football seems particularly vulnerable in the Nordic region as well, but match-fixing has also affected sports such as bandy, basketball and baseball’, it concluded.

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