Thursday, 17 February 2011

International game in Antalya comes under scrutiny

The credibility of two friendly international matches played in Antalya, Turkey has come under intense scrutiny after serious suspicions of match fixing were raised.

Fifa confirmed it was examining whether there were suspicious betting patterns surrounding Bolivia’s 2-1 defeat of Latvia and the 2-2 draw between Estonia and Bulgaria.

The games played consecutively at the Mardan Stadium in Antalya saw seven goals, with all seven goals scored from the penalty spot. An outcome described by one bookmaking source as “freakishly unlikely” especially since one of the penalties was ordered to be retaken after the first kick was missed.

Fifa confirmed it was investigating the matches after being alerted by “various sources”, and claimed that its Early Warning System, which monitors betting patterns with legitimate bookmakers had informed the investigation.

The referee, identified as Kolos Lengyl, and his assistants, have been suspended by the Hungarian football federation pending the outcome of the inquiry.


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