Belgium launches investigation into world tennis match-fixing

Brussels, Sep 6 (IANS) Prosecutors in Belgium have launched an investigation into an alleged corruption in the lower levels of international professional tennis.

“The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office has ‘very concrete evidence’ relating to ‘hundreds of suspicious bets’ made online and in betting shops, not only in Belgium but also in Switzerland, Germany and Britain, Xinhua news agency quoted a report in Flemish newspaper De Tijd.

The investigation centres on the the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour, which is one level below the main ATP World Tour, and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament, which is a further level down.

The report said matches in Spain, Tunisia, Israel and Mexico were among those being investigated, involving players from Ukraine, Italy, Georgia, Israel, the United States, Mexico and Bolivia. None of the players is in the world top 300, and most of them are lower than 800 in the world tennis rankings.

The bets were made in 2014 and the first half of 2015 and video surveillance footage has been gathered from betting shops in the Belgian cities of Antwerp, Mechelen, Ghent, Turnhout, Bruges, Oudenaarde, La Louviere and the capital Brussels.

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