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Hungarian gang suspected of fixing Finnish football matches

Hungarian police have arrested a gang of match fixers who they claim tried to manipulate three games in Finland in 2011.

Following last week’s announcement by Europol of fixers potentially manipulating hundreds of fixtures, investigations across Europe have kicked into high gear. One such investigation is in Hungary, where arrests have already been made and files are expected to be handed over to prosecutors by the end of the month.

Authorities suspect two former footballers, Zoltán Kenesei and Lászlo Schulcz, were involved in corrupting others on behalf of organised criminals in Hungary. They have been interviewed on suspicion of bribery and fraud.

In addition to matches across Europe, the group are suspected of influencing results in Finland. The chair of the Hungarian prosecution service, Géza Fazekas, confirmed to Yle that the three games affected  are League Cup matches involving Rovaniemen Palloseura (RoPS), with foreign players then at the club suspected of taking bribes. Nine RoPS players were convicted of taking bribes in 2011.

Former TamU defender arrested

The games concerned were VPS-RoPS, which ended in a 3-0 win for VPS, RoPS-FF Jaro, which the away team won 5-2, and RoPS-Tampere United, which finished in a 1-1 draw.

According to information received by Yle, a defender who played for Tampere United in the 2011 League Cup, Gabor Horvath, was among those arrested in Hungary. He is not to be confused with the ADO Den Haag player of the same name, who is also a Hungarian international.

Tampere United were suspended from all competition in 2011 after taking money from a Singaporean company with links to match-fixers, and subsequently went bankrupt. The club's chairman and CEO were prosecuted for money laundering, but acquitted.

Supporters have  founded a successor, TamU-K (siirryt toiseen palveluun), which competes in the fifth division this year after promotion from the bottom tier last season.

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