Football - Match-fixing probe into Scotland's friendly with Nigeria

Scotland's international friendly against Nigeria, due to be played on Wednesday, is being investigated by police.

Football - Match-fixing probe into Scotland's friendly with Nigeria

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Scotland fans cheer on their side

"We are liaising with the relevant authorities and preparing for the match as normal," the spokesman added on Tuesday, confirming that officers had been in touch with the SFA regarding a match-fixing threat.

The SFA added that there was no specific intelligence, however, and the National Crime Agency, which specialises in investigating organised crime, had no comment.

The match at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground is a World Cup warm-up for Nigeria before they head off to the finals in Brazil which kick off on June 12.

Leading bookmakers are routinely on alert for unusual betting patterns but were not aware of any specific threat.

The alert came on the day Europe's anti-crime agency Europol signed an agreement with governing body UEFA to deal with match-fixing in European soccer.

However, the organisation's director Rob Wainwright said the issue was not a major problem in Europe.

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce was quoted by Sky Sports as saying: "Match-fixing is a cancer within our game that has got to be driven out. If these accusations are true, the people involved should be banned for life and sent to prison."

FIFA's head of security Ralf Mutschke told The Daily Telegraph that soccer's world governing body had to presume the World Cup would be a target.

"We are trying to protect the World Cup from fixing and we have set up a pretty wide range of measures to do so," he said.

he report comes on the same day that Europol claimed match-fixing fixing is not a major problem in European football despite recent high-profile cases

The anti-crime agency has signed a co-operation agreement with the sport's European governing body UEFA to deal with the issue of fixing.

"I still don't think it's a major problem in European football, not from what I see," Rob Wainwright, director of the European anti-crime agency, told reporters at UEFA headquarters.

"But we are sending a message that we want to make sure it doesn't become one."

Wainwright revealed that Europol was working on nine investigations into match-fixing, but he declined to go into detail.

Last year, Wainwright said that hundreds of football matches had been fixed in a global betting scam run from Singapore.

He said about 680 suspicious matches had been identified by European police forces and Europol, including qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championship, and the Champions League.

UEFA says it monitors around 32,000 professional games in European club competition and national leagues each year for suspicious betting patterns that could indicate a match has been manipulated.

"It (Match-fixing) is the scourge of football because we are talking about the soul of the sport," said UEFA president Michel Platini.

Austria, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, Finland, Estonia, England, Czech Republic and Slovakia are among European countries to have been hit by match-fixing in recent years.

In Italy, dozens of players have been suspended and a number of clubs have had points deducted over attempts to manipulate matches in Serie B and its third tier, Lega Pro, during the 2010/11 season.

In another high-profile case, Fenerbahce were banned from European football for two seasons last June for their involvement in a domestic match-fixing scandal, while compatriots Besiktas were given a one-season ban.

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