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Trial witness admits to role in Europe-wide football betting scandal

A man implicated in one of Europe's biggest-ever football scandals has given evidence at a trial in Germany. Ante S. said that the results of numerous matches were influenced, and both players and referees were involved.

A football boot, euro notes, a football and a football pitch

Ante S. admitted to fixing matches from late 2006

A man previously convicted for his part in a soccer match-fixing scam that rocked the Bundesliga has admitted to involvement in Europe's biggest-ever football betting scandal.

Appearing as a witness at a trial in the German city of Bochum on Tuesday, Ante S. said that he had placed bets on allegedly rigged matched from late 2006 onwards, and that he had later been involved in bribing players.

The 34-year-old said that his contact had been Marijo C., another suspected key figure in the European betting scandal, who he had met during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Ante S. was himself arrested in connection with the betting scandal and has been in custody since November 2009. It is expected that he will face charges at a further trial.

In his testimony, Ante S. spoke about the manipulation of numerous matches in Germany and other parts of Europe.

Referee Robert Hoyzer

An earlier scandal involving Ante S. led to referee Robert Hoyzer being jailed

In most cases, he said, he had shared the winnings with Marijo C. Ante S. also told the court that former Osnabruck footballer Thomas C. had been a spokesman for the players involved in the scandal.

Match results in doubt across Europe

Four men are on trial for having conspired to influence players and referees to affect the results of more than 30 soccer games in Germany's second and lower divisions, as well as other European leagues.

The results of up to 200 games across Europe have been called into question as part of the wider betting scandal, spreading to leagues in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey.

Ante S. served only several months of a three-year jail sentence after being convicted for his involvement in the 2004 Bundesliga betting scandal that landed referee Robert Hoyzer in prison the following year.

The revelations come a day after former St. Pauli player Rene Schnitzler told the German magazine Stern that he had received 100,000 euros ($134,210) to fix five matches in 2008 while he was playing for the club.

Author: Richard Connor (AP, dpa, SID)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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