Dutch football friendlies in match-fixing investigation
Two exhibition matches of Dutch football teams last week in Spain might have been fixed games, according to the analyses of a gambling expert and the International Center for Sport Security (ICSS). Most likely the teams, ADO Den Hague and SC Heerenveen, were not aware of the score manipulation, the analysts state. A former gambling expert of European Football Association (UEFA) was requested by Volkskrant to analyze the movements of the betting charts in the ADO match against Albanian squad Skenderbeu Korce. Up through 67 minutes, no unusual betting patterns were seen in the match, which was 0-0 at the time. However, just before ADO scored goals in the 77th and 83rd minutes, things changed noticeably. "Before the goals, the charts went up for goals for the Dutch team. This is definitely a suspicious match," says the gambling expert. Heerenveen's friendly match against Belgium's Standard of Liège ended prematurely. The angry players of Heerenveen walked off the pitch after the Spanish referee, Raul Nicolas Espejo, whistled a fourth penalty shot for the Belgian team for unclear reasons. Heerenveen has received an email from the football association KNVB asking team officials to prepare a declaration regarding the match. The ICSS states that there are dozens of friendlies manipulated by a gambling cartel in Southern Spain. The organization suspects there to be at least one cartel organizing its business in Spain with an aim to fix practice tournament matches, according to Javier Mena of ICSS. "It is a well organized criminal group that operates with sophistication," he says.