Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Polish police detain soccer referee suspected of match-fixing in widening scandal

Posted: July 5, 2006

Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland -- A top Polish soccer league official suspected of match-fixing was detained by police Wednesday in part of a widening scandal.
Since opening an investigation last year, prosecutors in the western city of Wroclaw have pressed charges against some 20 people on match-fixing and bribery charges in Poland's domestic soccer leagues.

On Wednesday, Wroclaw police detained a soccer referee "on suspicion of participation in a criminal group that rigged first and second-division matches," Wroclaw police spokesman Pawel Petrykowski told The Associated Press.

Four people, including two referees, were arrested on corruption charges last week.

The alleged ringleader, identified only as Ryszard F. in keeping with Polish privacy laws, was detained on charges of rigging first- and second-division matches from 2000-2006. He allegedly handed out bribes to referees and received an estimated $130,000. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

In response to the allegations, Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has launched a probe into Poland's soccer federation Monday.