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Soccer

Estonia charges 11 men over match-fixing scandal

Prosecutors in Estonia have arrested 11 men as part of a football betting scam. They are suspected of fixing 17 matches, including three in the Europa League.

Public prosecutor's office spokeswoman Katrin Lunt said Monday the case was part of a betting scam that involved teams in Estonia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Eight of the 11 men arrested were professional footballers playing for Estonian clubs JK Narva Trans and JK Tallinna Kalev. They were already suspended by their clubs earlier this year for suspected fraud.

No specific matches were named by authorities, but 17 in total during the 2011-12 season were believed to have been fixed. In addition to the Europa League fixtures, the suspected matches include 13 Estonian league and cup matches and a Lithuanian league match.

The accused are believed to have made more than 108,000 euros ($147,000) in the scam.

Earlier this year an investigation by European police forces, Europol and national prosecutors revealed a worldwide football betting scam run out of Singapore. Around 680 matches were suspected to have been fixed, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.

Just last week, Austrian Bundesliga side SV Grödig announced they had terminated the contract of a second player for his involvement in a betting scam during league matches last season. Another play was arrested by Austrian police earlier this month as part of the scandal.

dr/jm (Reuters, AP, dpa)

DW.DE