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Football match bribe cases 'a growing trend'

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Football match bribe cases 'a growing trend'
12:07 CEST+02:00
Swedish football club IFK Värnamo has confirmed that some of its players had been offered bribes ahead of a league match in Sweden's second tier on Friday, in a case which betting firm Svenska Spel has described as part of a "growing trend".

The club confirmed on Tuesday that several of its players had been approached ahead of the Superettan match against Gothenburg side Gais on Friday evening.

The club's players rejected the offer and the matter was reported to the club who passed the case onto the police and the Swedish Football Association.

Swedish state betting monopoly Svenska Spel was duly informed of the police report and decided to halt betting on the game.

"The football association got in touch and as the circumstances surrounding the match were unclear we decided to call off any bets," Johan Tisell at Svenska Spel told The Local on Tuesday.

Tisell told The Local that very few bets had been registered on the game and no irregular betting patterns had been detected.

He added that the incident comes on the back of a spate of recent reports and suspicions concerning betting on football and other sports in Sweden and Scandinavia.

"A couple of weeks ago there were a couple of matches reported to the police, then we detected a case of irregular betting patterns for which we could find no explanation," he said.

"We haven't had this many incidents in such a short period before, so the trend definitely seems to be growing. It is pointing in that direction."

Tisell explained that the authorities and betting firms are however better prepared to notice and act on suspicions and reports than previously.

"We are focused and work continuously with these questions. We are well prepared," he told The Local.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson

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