Headlines and Briefs Wed, August 20, 2003
All bets off in soccer rigging scare
Irregular betting patterns on a European soccer match Thursday caused betting to be suspended over fears of match-rigging.
A series of big bets Scottish team Dundee’s UEFA cup tie with Albanian side Vllaznia forced bookies to slash the odds on a Dundee win.
William Hill closed their telephone and internet book after rumours spread that a players' strike in Albania would influence the result.
The slew of bets placed before the match included a £22,000 ($34,986) wager placed by a Scottish punter on a Dundee win at half-time and full- time. Dundee won the match 2 - 0.
At 7/4(2.75), the punter would have won £38,500 ($61,226) plus his original stake. Hill's refused to take the bet, but allowed the punter to place a £500 ($795) bet at the same odds on the game in Albania.
Bookmakers Super Soccer, who supply coupons and odds for independent bookies, advised clients to stop taking bets on Dundee yesterday afternoon due to 'unusual betting patterns'.
A senior Scottish bookmaking source said: 'This means there is a real fear the match is rigged.'
William Hill had Dundee to win at odds of 11/10(2.10) Thursday morning. But after thousands of pounds had been bet by London customers, Hills slashed the odds to 4/6(1.67). The company also suspended internet and phone bets.
William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: 'There was a rumour of a players' strike forcing Vllaznia to put out a youth or reserve side.
'I think some punters heard this and decided to put a lot of money on Dundee.'
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