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Probe launched into possible Bundesliga match fixing

Investigations have been launched into possible match fixing in Germany's Bundesliga to profit a betting ring, after allegations were published at the weekend.

Probe launched into possible Bundesliga match fixing
Photo:DPA

The Bundesliga (DFL) and the German Football Association (DFB) say they are both looking into claims that two 2005 games were manipulated in favour of massive bets.

Spiegel Online reported allegations on Saturday that a first league match between Hannover 96 and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, and a second division match between Karlsruher SC and Sportfreunde Siegen were suspect – and that several million euros were bet on the games.

Suspicions were raised by Canadian journalist Declan Hill, whose book about betting rings is published in German next week.

He says the 2006 World Cup knock-out match between Brazil and Ghana in Dortmund was influenced by an Asian betting syndicate.

The syndicate, run by William Bee Wah Lim, was exposed for trying to influence several games in the German regional league and the Austrian first league. He was jailed for more than two years by a Frankfurt court in 2005.

The two new matches under scrutiny had not until now been considered suspicious.

But a 208-page document showing Lim’s internet betting network shows a number of personal connections between him and the Kaiserslautern, Karlsruher and Siegen teams.

A joint statement from the DFL and DFB said that steps had been taken to engage an investigation firm to check betting movements. It also said, “Should it be necessary, the DFB legal committee will start immediate investigations, and make its decisions. Furthermore, the DFB and league association will, as in the past, support the responsible criminal authorities in their work should that be requested.”

German football is still reeling from the most serious crisis in its history in 2004 when

referee Robert Hoyzer admitted having received €70,000 to influence the results of 23 matches, mainly second and third division games in 2004.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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