FIFA confirms match-fixing investigation

FIFA confirms match-fixing investigation

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
World Cup qualification tie in question

FIFA has confirmed that Malta’s 2-0 defeat to Lithuania in World Cup Qualification Group F is being investigated for suspicious betting patterns.

A spokesperson for FIFA told “FIFA is looking into the matter. FIFA monitors football matches closely, opening disciplinary proceedings when concrete indications are found of match manipulation.”

The world governing body was alerted to huge sums of money being placed on the match, which was part of England’s qualification group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In fact, it came just five days after Gareth Southgate’s side had beaten Malta by the same scoreline at Wembley.

It has been reported that betting syndicates staked millions on Malta to lose by two or more goals, and that at least one betting-monitoring group knew that Lithuania would win by the required margin.

At this stage, there is no suggestion of any wrong doing by either set of players, or by Spanish referee Jesús Gil Manzano. The match remained goalless until the last quarter of an hour, but Malta had no shots on target in the match, and managed a modest 35% possession over the 90 minutes.

Totally Gaming says: Should FIFA find any evidence of match-fixing in this game, England’s qualification group could be shaken up, with a real prospect of voided results, and matches having to be replayed. FIFA will conduct a serious investigation into these allegations to safeguard the integrity of its competition.

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