Players face trial for match-fixing

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The Independent Football

Three players and five other men have gone on trial in Germany for suspected match-fixing. The men are accused of trying to manipulate 10 games for betting profits by bribing players.

The three players are from third- and fourth-division teams, although it is unclear if the match-fixing is limited to Germany. Several men in the gambling ring are from Asia, including a 43-year-old man thought to be the ringleader.

An Austrian first-division match involving Sturm Graz has been named in the case, but German reports did not say if the gambling ring tried to manipulate the game. One of the Asian men bet €600,000 (£396,000) that Sturm Graz would lose by two goals to Austria Vienna. The game ended 0-0. A Serbian suspect lost €137,000 (£90,000) on the same match.

The investigation began when an African player from the German team FC Eschborn said he was offered a bribe to play badly in a match in November 2005.