FIFA finds no evidence of game-fixing

December 7, 2007

ZURICH, Switzerland -- Soccer's governing body found no evidence of game-fixing during the first phase of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA has expanded its system for monitoring sports betting. The organization said Friday the independent company it set up, Early Warning System, uncovered no irregular betting patterns in more than 90 games played since August.

"It can therefore be concluded that there have been no attempts from betting circles to influence or manipulate [matches]," FIFA said in a statement.

The organization added that leading bookmakers, betting operators and betting organizations had signed up for the system and promised to report any incidences of irregular gambling patterns.

Early Warning System was set up six months ago to prevent game-fixing scandals such as those that rocked German and Brazilian soccer in recent years.

German referee Robert Hoyzer was convicted in 2005 of rigging 23 matches on behalf of a betting ring. Also that year, a Brazilian referee, Edilson Pereira de Carvalho, confessed to accepting bribes from gamblers to ensure the outcomes of games.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press