Gold Cup games may have been manipulated – FIFA official

(Reuters) – FIFA’s head of security believes games at  this year’s U.S.-based CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament were  “manipulated” and that irregular betting patterns raised  suspicions at world soccer’s governing body, a report said.

FIFA security chief Chris Eaton told Sports Illustrated’s  website yesterday that they have worked together with  CONCACAF to investigate games at June’s tournament.

Chris Eaton

“There has been information that some matches in the Gold  Cup were manipulated,” Eaton was quoted as saying.
“We worked with CONCACAF at the time and CONCACAF have been  very interested in following up any information that can be  revealed in the future on that,” he added.

Eaton said the investigation had not produced confirmation  of match-fixing but he cited irregular betting patterns during  the 12-team tournament.

The competition featured some high-scoring games involving  some of the weaker teams in the CONCACAF region which covers  North, Central America and the Caribbean.

CONCACAF was not immediately available for comment on the  report.

The first suggestions that there may have been something  amiss during the Gold Cup came before the final was played in  June.
Media reports in Germany said three games were under  suspicion following reports of unusual betting activity in Asia.

Speaking to reporters before the June 25 final, CONCACAF  general secretary Chuck Blazer said it had tracked the games  that had allegedly been at risk.

“Early on we were aware of comments made by a party in  Europe, who believed that certain games were potentially targets  in this competition.

“We tracked those (games), we found that there were no  significant anomalies and when we analysed the games overall,  found that they were pretty consistent with both history, as far  as the results, and we didn’t find any unusual patterns.

“There was nothing that was out of sync with what reasonable  expectations would have been. We had no reason to find that  there was anything of greater concern,” he said.

Blazer, a member of FIFA’s Executive Committee, was not  immediately available to comment on the report.

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