Soccer / Massive Betting on Swiss Win Raises Match-fixing Concerns

FIFA will investigate suspicions that the match between Switzerland and Moldova in Israel's World Cup qualifying group was fixed.

According to the Russian paper Sovietsky Sport, local betting regulators received an unusually high amount of bets, totaling 1.5 million euro, that Switzerland would beat Molodva by two goals on the day of the match. Consequently, Russia's state betting authority radically dropped the odds for a Swiss victory, from 1.8:1 to 1.2:1 within just two hours. Switzerland went on to defeat their hosts in Moldova 2-0, with the second goal coming in the 93rd minute.

Russian betting regulators noticed the unusually large amount of money bet on the match and immediately informed Early Warning System, an organization set up by FIFA to investigate match fixing suspicions.

After receiving the report FIFA President Sepp Blatter gave the go-ahead to open the investigation.

"I cannot confirm or deny the report," a representative of Early Warning System said in response yesterday.

Many commentators said Moldova dominated the match against Switzerland but failed to breach their guests defense.