Match-fixing hits the Czech lower leagues as alleged ring is uncovered

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According to the Associated Press, a match-fixing ring has been uncovered in the Czech lower leagues, with a host of referees and team officials arrested.

While the specific teams or people were not identified, Czech police confirmed that a span between May and November of 2013 saw approximately 10 matches targeted.

Police confirmed that 25 people have been arrested, including five on bribery charges and 20 on charges of accepting bribes, said Jaroslav Ibehej, spokesperson for the Czech police anti-corruption unit.

Prison sentences range up to two years for those accused of bribery, while those who are potentially convicted of accepting bribes could face up to four years in jail. Ibehej said unspecified sums of money were paid to officials to affect the outcomes of games in a certain manner.

This isn’t the first time the Czech Republic has had trouble with match-fixing. Back in 2013, 19 people were arrested in regards to another scandal after an 11-month investigation and 15 separate raids on homes and other locations. In that case, players were involved and matches spanned into the top division of both Czech and Slovakian soccer.

In that 2013 case, a Slovakian police officer said, “In all cases, it was about online betting at Asian agencies.”